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Brewing for the future: Marble donating proceeds from small-batch beer to Texas scholarship fund

El Paso artist Christin Apodaca designed the labels for Marble Brewery’s Starlight Wheat, benefiting the Stars Scholarship Fund. (Courtesy of Lisa Burke)

Marble Brewery is helping Texas students shine bright with its Starlight Wheat Ale.

The brewery will donate 100% of the proceeds to the Stars Scholarship Fund, which has helped more than 15,400 students from South and West Texas receive a higher education through scholarships.

“This scholarship program was started by our distributors L&F in El Paso,” said Geraldine Lucero, marketing and events coordinator at Marble Brewery. “They started it in 2002. They’ve been awarding scholarships, over $31.7 million in scholarships for over 5,400 students in South and West Texas. … You know, we got into the El Paso market about two years ago, and they approached us to see if we wanted to do something with this scholarship fund, and Nate Tarantino, our (chief financial officer), he thought it would be a great idea to get the beer brewed for the cause and can it.”

Marble donates to and hosts fundraising events for a number of New Mexico nonprofits, including the Alzheimer’s Association, New Mexico Chapter; Camp Enchantment, Watermelon Mountain Ranch, the Albuquerque Mountain Rescue Council, the Downtown Growers Market, NoonDay and others. Now it wanted to give back to its Texas market.

“The partnership between Marble Brewery and the Stars Scholarship Fund promotes and facilitates education for the leaders of tomorrow, who will champion much-needed change,” said Barbie Gonzalez, Marble president and chief operating officer. “We support Texas and the city of El Paso and want to share the love we have so generously received.”

Starlight Wheat Ale is available at Total Wine & More, Tin Man and Spec’s Wine, Spirits & Finer Foods locations in El Paso. Marble is sending 300 cases of cans for the West and South Texas market.

“It’s a very approachable beer,” Lucero said. “It’s a wheat ale. When we hit the market in El Paso a lot of people were loving our Wildflower Wheat that was a really good seller out there, and, of course, our Double White. This is something that is a little bit more midrange. It is good for craft connoisseurs and new to craft alike because it’s approachable. It’s light. It’s a little floral. It’s the perfect complement to the El Paso heat.”

Marble wanted to make sure Starlight Wheat Ale’s branding was something that represented the market that has embraced it.

“We wanted to take it a step further and get a local El Paso artist to design the can work,” Lucero said. We got Christin Apodaca, who is a mural artist, and she did a beautiful can with all kinds of representation of El Paso on it, and it’s just gorgeous. So it’s really cool and we’re super-excited.”

Marble might have made a special beer for a great cause for Texans but it never forgets its New Mexican fans.

The brewery has ventured into small-batch canning which it has never done before. It kicked off the series with Mountain Fog on Aug. 6.

“It’s a hazy double IPA,” Lucero said of Mountain Fog. “So we’ve brewed it a few times as a seasonal. It’s just been on tap and people are really stoked about it. We have never done the small-batch canning before. We’ve done small-batch bottling but our can releases were always on a larger form. We decided to get those silver cans and wrap them with labels and use the small-batch stuff.”

Mountain Fog is made with Simcoe, Mosaic and Chinook hops. It is “super-limited,” with 10 barrels and only 100 cases being sold at all three Marble taproom locations. There will be no growler fills for this beer. Patrons who missed the opportunity to purchase Mountain Fog should be on the lookout for the next small batches of various brews.

“We’re going to try to release something at least once a month, every six weeks,” Lucero said.

The next small-batch beer will be Marblefest, an Oktoberfest-style lager.

“It’s going to be consistent with what we release annually,” Lucero said of Marblefest. “But there are some really fun styles that we haven’t tried before that will be on our small-batch series. So some different stuff that I’m pretty stoked on because we are coming out with the Mountain Fog and the Marblefest is something that we’ve done before, but there’s styles in there that are going to be like something you haven’t seen from Marble.”

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