Drink a beer, help a rare butterfly

Published: May 10, 2013, 4:35 pm, by Scott Rappold

butterfly1

I love hops.

When it comes to a beer, the hoppier the better, from Breckenridge’s 471 IPA to Ska’s Modus Hoperandi. These hop-blasted beers are what Colorado is known for, with an emphatic bitter finish that leaves you thirsty for more.

There is apparently a butterfly that lives only along Colorado’s Front Range that agrees. The hops blue butterfly, scientific name Celastrina humulus, has been found in relatively large numbers (a dozen or so) at the Air Force Academy, where it dines on delicious wild hops.

To help fund research into this tiny, little-known butterfly, Odell Brewing Co. in Fort Collins is teaming up with the Colorado National Heritage Program. On May 18, the brewery will release in its tap room Celastrina Saison, which they describe as a “crisp French-style Saison with hints of spice derived only from the hops used. Subtle phenols are complemented by the earth hops and a dry finish.”

A dollar from the sale of each 750-mil bottle will go to butterfly research. A brewery spokeswoman tells me they should be available in some Colorado Springs liquor stores by Memorial Day weekend. Use their beer finder to track down a bottle!