'Native Land' Beer Project Is Brewing an IPA to Recognize Local Tribes and Support Native Initiatives

At least 30 breweries in seven states have joined on to donate proceeds from their Native Land IPA.

Native Land Beer IPA cans
Photo: Don James

Over the years, large-scale collaboration beers have become an innovative way to raise awareness and money for different causes. Prominent examples include Sierra Nevada enlisting over 1,400 breweries to brew an IPA to raise money for those affected by the Camp Fire wildfires, Other Half sharing a recipe for its All Together IPA to support the struggling hospitality industry during the pandemic, and Weathered Souls encouraging breweries to release a 'Black Is Beautiful' stout to raise awareness for racial injustice.

Now, Albuquerque-based Bow and Arrow Brewing has created a similar campaign to support an often overlooked group, especially within the brewing community: Native Americans.

Billed as America's first and only female-owned Native American brewery, Bow and Arrow saw an opportunity to recognize the Tiwa people indigenous to the area where their beer is brewed, so on Indigenous People's Day, founder Shyla Sheppard launched Native Land Beer — an open-source IPA recipe other breweries can use to join in on the project.

Participants have until March to brew and sell their take on the beer, with all profits going to benefit Native American groups. Additionally, the participating breweries are asked to acknowledge the ancestral land where their brewery is now located and recognize these tribes on the label.

"The objective is to further visibility of Native people and to generate resources to support Native organizations whose work focuses on ecological stewardship and strengthening Native communities," Bow and Arrow writes on their website. "Proceeds of the beer sales will be donated to Native organizations doing this work. We will be donating part of our proceeds to First Nations Development Institute for their Stewarding Native Lands initiative."

"This campaign demonstrates to people that we still exist," Sheppard, who grew up on a reservation in North Dakota, told the Albuquerque Journal. "We are demonstrating that as Native people, we can be successful. We want to dispel harmful stereotypes."

So far, 30 breweries from at least seven states have joined in. "Now my goal is to have a brewery from every state," Sheppard said. "I think that is possible."

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