Burrowing Owl Beer
Cape Coral’s official bird now has its own brew.
Big Storm Brewing Co. has just released its Kentucky Common Burrowing Owl Beer, with a portion of the proceeds to support the Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife — a group in the Cape devoted to protecting the burrowing owl and other endangered species that call the city home.
“Our Cape Coral taproom is located next to a Burrowing Owl nest which we think is super cool. As we started to look for ways to give back to the community, we felt supporting these awesome little birds was an obvious choice,” said Big Storm co-owner L.J. Govoni, in a release. “Now our customers can try this new beer and help us give back to the CCFW by supporting out Burrowing Owl Beer. I know I speak for all of us when I say we are excited to raise a pint to our pint-sized owls.”
Pascha Donaldson, vice president of CCFW, said anything to help preserve and draw attention to the city bird is a plus.
“We are pleased that Big Storm Brewing and the community are coming together to help protect the burrowing owl which drives our local eco/sustainable tourism,” said Donaldson. “People come from all over the world to meet our burrowing owls and we have one of the largest nesting populations on the planet.”
The Burrowing Owl Beer is a “smooth, dark ruby collared amber” beer.
Big Storm’s head brewer, Kevin Long, said the beer is brewed with “30% of its malt bill as corn, so some light sweet corn flavor comes through.”
The limited time beer has an ABV of 5.2%.
Long also described the beer “as having notes of bread toast, pepper and berries.”
The burrowing owl is a staple of Cape Coral. Just this past February, the city, along with CCFW, hosted the first ever “Ground-Owl Day” where “Owliver” and “Owlivia” were called upon to decide if we would have six more weeks of “winter.”
The Burrowing Owl Festival has also been a mark-your-calendar event for the last 17 years.
“It’s a win-win,” said Donaldson of the new partnership with Big Storm Brewing Co. “Anything to help our city bird is a gift.”
She hopes the new beer can spark a conversation between patrons at the bar and bring even more attention to what makes these furry little fellows special.
“The official city bird ought to have something named after it,” Donaldson added.
Driving around the city, it’s hard to miss burrows marked by a T-perch. In fact, Cape Coral is home to more than 2,500 burrows that are protected by law, as the owls are classified as a “species of special concern” by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Cape Coral is home to the largest known population of the Florida burrowing owl, which is a threatened species. These pint sized birds burrow underground where they nest from early February through mid-July.
Each Wednesday, weather permitting, CCFW members scour the city for owl burrows for protection and upkeep.
Donaldson said volunteers put in over 10,000 hours a year, and that the focus now is to acquire lots through donations.
CCFW is also asking churches, schools and homeowners to install a starter burrow — free of charge, that is provided by the non-profit group.
CCFW members plan to celebrate the Burrowing Owl Brew this Friday at Big Storm beginning at 5 p.m. for all of those who wish to gain more information on the owl and what CCFW does for Cape Coral’s wildlife.
Big Storm Brewing Co. is at 839 Miramar St.
For more information on CCFW, visit www.ccfriendsofwildlife.org.
-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj