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The Morton Arboretum Introduces First-Ever Arboretum Beer

Arbor Oak Amber Ale
December 9, 2015

This month, The Morton Arboretum will introduce Arbor Oak Amber Ale, its first-ever namesake beer. Brewed in partnership with Chicago’s Lake Effect Brewing Co. using oak from the Arboretum’s grounds and Wisconsin special-roast malts, the new beer is a perfect blend of seasonal flavors. 

A traditional Amber Ale brewed with oaks, Arbor Oak Amber Ale will be available exclusively at the Arboretum’s Ginkgo Café and Restaurant through April 2016. Three months in the making, the craft beer balances malt complexity with just enough hops for a citrus-spice finish. Brewing the beer with oaks delivers a hint of warm vanilla.

Primarily known for their beauty and their contributions to the environment, oaks have a long history in winemaking and, more recently, brewing, because of the flavor they impart. To craft Arbor Oak Amber Ale, chips from the Arboretum’s oak trees were added at the end of fermentation and aged in the beer for two weeks to impart oak flavors.

“Oak trees are of special interest to the Arboretum; in fact, The Morton Arboretum has the most significant collection of oaks at any botanic garden worldwide,” said Anna Cosner, director of retail and events at the Arboretum. “We’re thrilled to introduce a beer with such strong ties to the trees we work for and love.”

“We’re proud to partner with the Arboretum to create Arbor Oak Amber Ale, uniquely crafted with wood from the Arboretum’s oak trees,” said Clint Bautz, co-founder of Lake Effect Brewing Co. “The oak from the Arboretum gives the English-style Amber Ale a great depth of flavor and an added layer of complexity that’s unique to our current line-up of beers.”

Dec. 14 Launch Event
Beer fans are invited to be the first to try the unique new brew during a special tasting event on Monday, December 14 at the Arboretum.  From 5 p.m.-8 p.m., beer fans can enjoy food and taste the new beer, and hear about the beer’s inspiration and connection to oak trees from Lake Effect Brewing Co.’s Bautz and Matt Lobdell, head of collections and curator at The Morton Arboretum. Event tickets include one complimentary Arbor Oak Amber Ale and popcorn. Additional food and beverages will be available for purchase. For more information, visit www.mortonarb.org.

The Morton Arboretum and Lake Effect Brewing Co. are currently collaborating on another beer variety, to be introduced in spring 2016.


About The Morton Arboretum
Established in 1922, The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum and tree research center located in Lisle, Illinois. As the champion of trees, The Arboretum is committed to scientifically-informed action, both locally and globally, and encouraging the planting and conservation of trees for a greener, healthier, more beautiful world.  On 1,700 acres are 220,000 plant specimens representing 4,100 different kinds of plants, along with specialty gardens, educational exhibits, the award-winning Children’s Garden, 16 miles of hiking trails and the Visitor Center, featuring The Arboretum Store and the Gingko Restaurant and Café. The Morton Arboretum is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 charitable organization, welcoming more than 932,000 visitors and serving 39,250 member households in 2014. Learn more at mortonarb.org.

About Lake Effect Brewing Co.
Founded in 2011, Lake Effect Brewing Company is a small brewery located on Chicago's Northwest side, specializing in handcrafted, small batch seasonal beers. Lake Effect’s roster includes Belgian-style ales, stouts, hoppy ales, fruit beers, and sour/wild ales. We brew with passion, and focus on quality over quantity. Learn more at lakeeffectbrewing.com.