NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Hero Hazy IPA is brewing once again at Mankato Brewery.
The Mankato Brewery and Lupulin Brewing Company teamed up with the Mankato Area Foundation to honor Jonathan Zierdt.
It’s part of growMANkato 2020, a month-long men’s health awareness campaign that happens every November in Mankato.
The beer, created in 2018, honors Jonathan Zierdt, the former CEO of Greater Mankato Growth, who lost his battle with cancer in 2019.
“He was just an amazing guy, almost like a superhero in himself. Dealing with his own personal struggles with his illness, knowing that we wanted to make a beer to honor and support Jonathan, but to also bring that awareness back to the community. A legacy for Jonathan with this foundation, the idea was to make a beer that was fun and people would enjoy — very craft-focused, but bring awareness to Jonathan’s story, but men’s health specifically," explained Tim Tupy, Mankato Brewery co-founder.
Jeff Zierdt, brother of Jonathan and owner of Lupulin Brewing Company, collaborated on the beer with Mankato Brewery.
“It’s an emotional day here, being back here in Mankato on that brew deck. Being able to go up there and being able to kind of replicate what he did that day."
Hero Hazy’s alcohol per volume (8.18%) and international bitterness units (66) come from Jonathan’s birthday (Aug. 18, 1966) and now his memory raises awareness.
Proceeds from sales of Hero Hazy IPA will go to the Jonathan Zierdt Cancer Fund, which gives handcrafted care boxes to local cancer patients.
The month of November strikes a soft spot in the heart of Chris Harstad, founder of Mankato Area Foundation and the growMANkato initiative.
“I’m a testicular cancer survivor myself. I was diagnosed at age 27. Surprising to hear what I had to deal with, cancer at that age, and other men even earlier have to deal with testicular cancer. We want to raise awareness that men ages 18 through 39, be on the lookout for it. Self-check, go see your doctor and have that conversation."
On Wednesday, the Mankato Area Foundation also announced Dr. Chaun Cox, a physician at Mayo Clinic Health System, as its 2020-21 ambassador.
The announcement of the beer relaunch and new ambassador kick-starts growMANkato 2020, which officially begins Nov. 2.