Big Grove Brewery, Green State Credit Union create beer to help water quality in Iowa

The two companies created a beer, Greener State of Mind, to donate funds to the Iowa Environmental Council to improve Iowa’s waterways.


Larry Phan

A pack of Big Grove’s newest drink, “Greener State of Mind” is shown at Big Grove in Iowa City, IA on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021.

Natasha Keicher, News Reporter

Big Grove partnered with Green State Credit Union to create a beer that would give back to the state in an influential way.

All proceeds raised by the beer, named ‘Greener State of Mind,’ will be donated to the Iowa Environmental Council to help protect Iowa’s waterways.

Featuring graphics of Iowa’s rivers and the Green State Credit Union’s tree logo, the beer includes citrus flavors brewed alongside simcoe, citra, and amarillo hops.

Green State Credit Union Public Relations Director Tara Wachendorf said the credit union approached Big Grove Brewery earlier this year with the idea of creating a beer and donating the proceeds to a charity that aligned with their environmental values.

Wachendorf said the credit union wanted to do something unique that would give back to the entire state, not just the local community. The credit union decided to create a beer because it was something new and unique, and it had never been done by a credit union before, she said.

“Beer drinkers maybe never would have thought that a credit union would be associated with a beer,” Wachendorf said.

Head of Brand Marketing at Big Grove Brewery Janelle Buxton said Green State Credit Union was a perfect partner for the brewery, as the two have the same values and goals of helping improve the state’s water quality.

“It’s about humans being better humans to each other, is what we like to say, and how we can participate in that,” Buxton said.

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Because the beer recently sold out after being on the shelves for a month, the official amount of money raised hasn’t been released yet, but Big Grove Brewery is optimistic that the amount raised is around $25,000, Buxton said. Grocery and liquor stores alongside the brewery started selling the beer around mid-October.

The Iowa Environmental Council, an organization that works to improve environmental concerns in the state, will use the funds to improve Iowa’s waterways — one of the council’s main environmental concerns.

Iowa Environmental Council Executive Director Brian Campbell said the council was excited about the beer because it highlights Iowa’s rivers and what the council is trying to do to protect them.

Campbell called the Greener State of Mind beer a “generous project” from Green State Credit Union and Big Grove Brewery.

“We will use that [money] to support our work, which is really focused on clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment,” Campbell said.

Wachendorf said the credit union and brewery would like to continue partnering in the future to produce this beer and donate the proceeds to a different charity every year, but nothing has been finalized yet.

“The Greener State of Mind beer really does have an impact in multiple ways,” she said. “It’s not just the name of a beer; this beer is obviously giving back to the community.”