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With over £100,000 funding support already generated, it’s generally accepted that the ‘Natural Selection’ partnership between Castle Rock Brewery and Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust has been a resounding success. The partners are not resting on their laurels and have plans to make 2010 their most successful year yet.

Since 2001, Castle Rock has brewed a monthly ‘Natural Selection’ beer with names chosen to highlight flora or fauna under threat. The beers help promote Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust’s work and raise funds for the charity. It’s been a remarkably successful scheme and the 2010 programme will begin with ‘Glow Worm’, a dark beer with a predominantly malt-led flavour and some roast character.

2010 will also be a special year for the partnership as it will see the production of the 100th unique ‘Natural Selection’ recipe when head brewer, Adrian Redgrove, creates ‘Yew’, the beer for July. ‘Yew’ is designed to be a vegan friendly beer, being an unfined German style wheat beer.

In addition to raising at least £3,000 for the charity during the year, the brewery has produced a series of beer mat designs created to help further promote the Wildlife Trust’s work.

Aron Hughes, development officer at Notts Wildlife Trust, shows off  some of the 70,000 beer mats at the launch of ‘Natural Selection’ 2010.  Holding the remainder, Castle Rock’s Colin Wilde.

Aron Hughes, development officer at Notts Wildlife Trust, shows off some of the 70,000 beer mats at the launch of ‘Natural Selection’ 2010. Holding the remainder, Castle Rock’s Colin Wilde.

One design features watercolour images representing the whole 2010 Natural Selection Range while another highlights the company’s support for the charity and promotes its website. Over 70,000 mats have been produced and the ‘Natural Selection’ design will be distributed to pubs across the county with the first delivery of ‘Glow Worm’.

Wildlife Trust communications manager, Erin McDaid said, “The new beer mats are great – the design featuring the ‘Natural Selection’ artwork is a real eye-catcher and we hope the extra promotion for our website will encourage people to find out more about our work across the county.”

The brewery’s Colin Wilde said, “As we enter the 10th year of our support of the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, we’re delighted by the amount of funding our customers have helped generate while enjoying these unique beers. Funding remains critical to enable the valuable environmental work done by the Trust to continue. We hope the 2010 series will not only raise funds but will encourage people to find out about the other ways they can help.”

Castle Rock’s ‘Screech Owl’, nowadays a firm and regular favourite with lovers of strong IPAs, became the national champion in the strong bitter category at the SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) competition in 2009. It began humbly as a supposed ‘one off’ in support of the Wildlife Trust in October 2008.