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Wynkoop Launches Silverback Pale Ale - Denver, Colorado

(Denver, Colorado) – Wynkoop Brewing Company -- Colorado’s first brewpub -- is releasing a second packaged beer, Silverback Pale Ale.  The hand-canned beer (named after the male leaders among Mountain Gorillas) is a unique version of American-style pale ale made with grains of paradise. Fifty-percent of all profits from the sale of Silverback Pale Ale go to the Denver-based Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund (MGCF).

“In today's economy,” says MGCF’s Frank Keesling, “private donations are hard to come by. Silverback will provide much-needed funds for our projects to survive, and create a great new way for us get our message out to more people.”

Silverback Pale Ale is an artfully balanced beer with a citrusy aroma, crisp pale malt flavors and a satisfying hop character throughout. It has a refreshing hoppy finish, 40 International Bittering Units, and a comfortable 5.5% ABV.

“Silverback is hoppy and flavorful,” says Charlie Berger, Wynkoop’s Aleslinger/Brewer, “but it’s very sessionable and won’t put hair on your back.”

The beer is made in small, 20-barrel batches with American two-row and specialty malts and four US hops. The beer’s aroma comes courtesy of Wynkoop head brewer Andy Brown’s homemade “Hopinator” hopback device, filled with whole-leaf Centennial hops.

Grains of paradise are an African spice that is a vital part of the mountain gorilla diet. In addition to adding flavor to beer, research shows the spice aids in reducing heart disease in these highly endangered apes.

“Our goal with this beer,” Brown says, “was to put a unique twist on the American pale ale style. The grains of paradise provide an extra layer of flavor and give the beer a lemon-pepper like finish.”

The beer will be available in the Denver area in sixpacks of 12-ounce cans and 15.5-gallon kegs.

The first cans of Silverback Pale Ale will debut on June 17 at the Do at the Zoo, an annual fundraiser held at the Denver Zoo. Sixpacks of the beer will appear in select Denver area stores on Friday, June 18, and in all Wynkoop Brewing Company retailers in the weeks ahead.

Ruth Morris Keesling founded the MGCF in 1985 at the request of the late Dr. Dian Fossey, the pioneering gorilla researcher and subject of the movie “Gorillas in the Mist”. Fossey was murdered by gorilla poachers in 1985 while conducting her research.

Frank Keesling (Ruth Keesling’s son) now heads up the MGCF and its efforts in Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of The Congo. Keesling says that beyond its flavor, the beer provides other pluses for retailers and beer lovers.

“Retailers,” Keesling notes, “can provide a unique product to their customers and reap the goodwill that comes from supporting gorilla conservation. Beer lovers can enjoy a great beer and help an endangered animal at the same time.”

The MGCF has been a longtime benefactor of funds from the sale of Wynkoop’s Silverback Smoked Porter. Monies from the beer’s sales are helping to build a new veterinary education center in Uganda.

Wynkoop also partners with the MGCF on the annual Denver Gorilla Run each fall, the MGCF’s primary annual fundraiser. Last year’s run set a Guinness Book of Records high mark for the “most number of people dressed as gorillas”, when 1061 people took part in the run. It raised over $70,000 for the MGCF.

Today there are only an estimated 740 mountain gorillas alive in the wild. None are in captivity. The numbers have been slowly increasing thanks to the work of the MGCF and its allied gorilla-protection partners.

This is the second hand-canned beer for Wynkoop Brewing Company, joining its longtime flagship Rail Yard Ale in cans. Wynkoop is now self-distributing these beers and the brewpub’s other draft beers to retailers in the Denver area.

The beers are canned one can at a time on a tabletop machine from Canada’s Cask Systems.

Wynkoop Brewing Company was founded in 1988 by Denver mayor John Hickenlooper and a group of urban pioneers that included Mark Schiffler (current Wynkoop COO) and Ron Robinson, Wynkoop’s current GM.

Members of the media seeking more information, photos, samples and interviews can contact Marty Jones at 303-860-7448 or and .

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