• Joe Capozzi

Nature on tap at Twisted Trunk brewery benefit for Palm Beach County wilderness destinations



LOCAL NATURE LOVERS usually can be found outdoors, hiking, biking and kayaking through more than 31,000 acres of wilderness in Palm Beach County’s scenic natural areas.


On Saturday, hundreds of outdoors enthusiasts will celebrate nature by spending a few hours indoors — at a brewery to raise pints, and money, to connect the public with those popular nature spots.


Once again, the star of the sixth annual “Night for the Natural Areas” at Twisted Trunk Brewing Company in Palm Beach Gardens will be a special brew called Loxahatchee Lager.


First brewed in 2015, Loxahatchee Lager is a golden smooth lager cold conditioned for six weeks. It contains ingredients from the natural areas — wildflower honey, herbs, hibiscus, lavender, lemongrass and orange peel.


“We tinker with it a little bit every year to try to make it better,’’ said Fran Andrewlevich, Twisted Trunk’s co-founder. “We will can 75 cases this year and it will probably last a good couple of months.’’


The latest version of Loxahatchee Lager will be rolled out Saturday from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the brewery at 2000 PGA Blvd. A $25 entrance fee (cash or Venmo) gets you a free beer, food from Little Moir’s Hibiscus StrEATery and a raffle ticket.


Items to be raffled include stunning fine art photographs of some of the county’s 27 natural areas with a combined value of more than $3,000.


"Sunset over the Marsh" in the Juno Dunes Natural Area is one of many photographs taken by Kim Seng at Palm Beach County's natural areas. This image will be auctioned off Saturday.


The proceeds from the event help pay for the popular free Natural Areas outreach initiatives offered every year by Palm Beach County’s Environmental Resources Management office, which oversees the 31,000 rustic acres from Jupiter to Boca Raton.


Twisted Trunk’s last five Loxahatchee Lager events have raised more than $22,000 combined. The proceeds have have directly benefited the county’s free guided hikes, bike rides and kayak tours, all available to the public through programs like Adventure Awaits, Running Wild and Growing up Wild events for kids.


“Two of the hardest things our natural areas face are simply letting our community know that these public lands exist, and securing funding for the outreach work that is essential to connecting our community to these lands,'' said Benji Studt, who supervises ERM’s outreach programs.


"Twisted Trunk’s 'Night for the Natural Areas' supports both of these efforts, and the celebration they host each year with the release of Loxahatchee Lager is such an amazing way to energize our community’s connection to the land and to support the work we do year-round to further those connections.”


Benji Studt (L) leads a "Swamp Tromp" hike in the Loxahatchee Slough Natural Area on March 20, 2022, one of several outreach programs sponsored by ERM with money raised from Twisted Trunk Brewing Company fund-raising events. (Joe Capozzi)

Last year's event attracted more than 300 people, "our biggest event to date,'' Andrewlevich said.


He said he plans to bring his staff at Twisted Trunk brewery on one of ERM’s tours in the coming months.


“I’ve always loved nature, but I was blown away by all the wild spaces I had yet to explore when we connected with ERM in 2015,'' Andrewlevich said.


“As outdoor enthusiasts and supporters of our environment, we love going big with this event every year to let our local community know about the endless opportunities we have to hike, bike and paddle, right in our own backyard.’’


A framed print of Egret Blur, photographed by Mark Cook at Pine Glades Natural Area in Jupiter, will be auctioned off Saturday.


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About the author

Joe Capozzi is an award-winning reporter based in Lake Worth Beach. He spent more than 30 years writing for newspapers, mostly at The Palm Beach Post, where he wrote about the opioid scourge, invasive pythons, the birth of the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches and Palm Beach County government. For 15 years, he covered the Miami Marlins baseball team. Joe left The Post in December 2020.View all posts by Joe Capozzi.

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