Moringa Lager - An Interview with the Brewer

Wynkoop Brewing's Assistant Brewer Charles McManus was inspired by both his mother's involvement in the Colorado Haiti Project and his experience learning about health and nutrition from a long-time CHP friend to create a culturally significant beer influenced by Haiti. With a background in Food Science and Nutrition, McManus was intrigued by the jasmine-like Moringa leaf which is a fast-growing crop in Haiti with remarkable nutritional qualities.

It’s really nice doing something creative that has an impact in the world.
— Charles

This Sunday, February 11, Wynkoop Brewing and CHP will be celebrating the new Haitian-inspired Moringa Lager which, according to the man behind the new draft, is a Tropical Style Pale Lager. In homage to his mother’s preference of lighter brews, Charles opted for the approachable lager to match the “beach culture” of Haiti and to blend well with the delicate Moringa leaf. 

During the month of February, the local brewery will donate $1 of for beer sold towards the Colorado Haiti Project as part of their Charity Tap program. While the Charity Tap program is a Wynkoop monthly staple, this is the first time a unique beer has been made specifically for the occasion.

The journey to creating this craft beer begins with the brewer’s mother, Cathleen McManus, and an appreciation of local Haitian flavors and the nutritionally packed Moringa tree. After moving from her diverse Southern Florida community, Cathleen McManus originally began working with the Colorado Haiti Project through a church friend, Dr. Gretchen Berggren, a Physician Consultant in International Health and Nutrition. Cathleen filled the position of secretary on CHP's board in 2015 and has been a devoted friend and supporter ever since. Recently, she returned from a two-week journey to Haiti where she loved learning about GEM and CHP's ever-growing agricultural programs.

I was really comfortable there, and I was so impressed by the success of the programs in place.
— Cathleen
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Cathleen introduced Charles and Gretchen over lunch a few years ago. Charles bonded with Gretchen, who formerly lived and worked in Haiti, over their passions for nutrition and health. Gretchen urged Charles to use his brewing skills for a purpose, ultimately leading to his idea behind Moringa Lager. The lager serves as the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of local Haitian crops, nutrition and CHP's programs.

Overall, Charles has made about 300 gallons of Moringa Lager to supply Wynkoop through the month of February. There has been talk of Moringa joining Wynkoop's rotation of beers, though nothing is set in stone - so catch the brew now while you can! Last week, Wynkoop officially released the beer at a tasting session, and the beer was a hit amongst Wynkoop's patrons.

Check out the tropical lager and join CHP to celebrate this collaboration from 3:30pm-7:30pm this Sunday, February 11 at Wynkoop Brewing!

Wynn Walent