Is it just me, or are Michigan residents being alerted of an invasive species or creepy crawler every other week? Spring seems to unleash a flood of press releases from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, or Michigan State University concerning potential risks to the public or environment. 

So far this spring we have been alerted on the arrival of the following weeds, critters, and fungus: 

  •  Invasive garlic mustard 
  • Sea lamprey’s 
  • A defoliating moth called Hypena opulenta 
  • Beetles that carry a fungus causing oak wilt 
  • The spongy moth 
  • The blacklegged tick can carry Lyme disease.  

And this is just the abbreviated list. 

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The Red Swamp Crayfish
Kelsey Bockelman/MSU Extension

Michigan State University & A Small Michigan Brewery Join Forces 

The latest crummy lifeform that has been identified as an official Michigan pest is the Red Swamp Crawfish. The State of Michigan considers the crayfish as a non-native species that can cause harm to the economy, environment, or human health. It is illegal to possess them for any reason in Michigan

 As a step towards making the public aware of this aquatic villain, MSU Extension and a small brewery, located in Allendale, Michigan, have joined forces to spread the word by marketing a series of beers named after various invasive species.  

So What Michigan Brewery Is Creating Invasive Species Beer? 

Trail Point Brewing Company has created the flagship beer, called Red Swamp Rye IPA. This IPA, which is targeting the Red Swamp Crawfish, is described as follows, 

This Ruby Red IPA is chocked full of spicy rye malt character that is able to stand up to the formidable hoppiness in this high-octane RYE IPA. Notes of peppery rye persists through dank and fruity hops with a clean finish that conceals the bodacious abv. 8.3% 45 ibu.

Michigan State University Extension, and Trail Point Brewing Company, is marketing a beer named after an invasive species.
Kelsey Bockelman/MSU Extension

The red swamp crawfish-themed beer is currently on tap and an “educational” public event is being held at the brewery, on June 24, 2023, from 2-6 PM. Local conservation partners' booths, games, live music and more will be on hand to entertain adults and youth alike. 

So How Did Trail Point Get Involved In The Unique Line of Beers?

Jeff Knoblock, one of the Trail Point’s owners says, 

When we first heard about the mission to create awareness in protecting one of our most precious resources, we couldn’t be more excited to participate. We have a strong love for the outdoors and of course the resource of water to help us create what we do as brewers. 

Although the press release issued by MSU Extension hints at other future brews that will focus on invasive species in Michigan, no names have been announced. Perhaps a Eurasian Watermilfoil or Curly Leaf Pondweed will delight the Michigan beer drinker's palate. 

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