Mill River Brewing will host charity ice fishing derby for water quality, Feb 22

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ST. ALBANS, Vt. –– Mill River Brewing BBQ & Smokehouse (MRB) in St. Albans will continue its Clean Water Campaign this winter with an upcoming charity ice fishing derby that will benefit the Friends of Northern Lake Champlain.

On Saturday, Feb. 22, MRB will hold a one-day, family-oriented, yellow perch fishing derby on Missisquoi Bay — near The Tyler Place — in Highgate Springs. This catch-and-release-style derby is for the Friends of Northern Lake Champlain (FNLC) and is part of an ongoing Clean Water Campaign and partnership between the brewery and the FNLC, a non-profit group. The derby will be educational and geared toward getting young people enthusiastic about fishing and the sport’s reliance on clean water. All net proceeds will benefit the FNLC.

On-site registration at 624 Shipyard Rd., Highgate Springs, will be from 7-8 a.m. Fishing is from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Registration is $25/individual. Children 10 and under fish for free.

Registration includes eligibility for prizes and entry to an after-derby awards ceremony and meal — catered by MRB — at the VFW Post #778 in Swanton Village from 5-7 p.m. Hourly and random prizes, including cash, will be distributed throughout the day. Additionally, there will be a MRB Beer Tasting from 1-4 p.m. at Martin’s Store near the derby site.

Online registration is available now at the FNLC Web site: Online registrants can pick up their entry tickets at the derby. MRB’s other partners in this event are: Chad Tyler from The Tyler Place; Mindy and Gilbert Gagner from Martin’s Store in Highgate Springs; representatives from the FNLC; and Jim O’Rourke, owner of the St. Albans Messenger. Other major sponsors currently include: the Franklin Northwest Solid Waste District, Hometown Beverage & Redemption, and Catalyst Coffee Bar.

MRB launched its Clean Water Campaign with the FNLC in summer 2019 through the launch of Lake Dayz, a beer that benefits the FNLC. MRB donated about $6,000 to the FNLC in 2019 through portions of sales of Lake Dayz and a September Rain Barrel Auction that raised $3,400 in one hour. MRB released a winter label for Lake Dayz in late 2019.

MRB is about a mile from St. Albans Bay. With Lake Champlain so close, MRB uses several tactics to conserve water, and MRB surpasses other Vermont breweries in how it addresses water quality. For example, MRB reuses much of its water through its can-rinsing system, and it reuses treated water through its Clean-In-Place (CIP) tank system. MRB will soon capture rain water from gutters and reuse it on the hops row and vegetable gardens that are at the restaurant.

MRB opened in July 2017 with less than a handful of in-house brews on tap. Today, MRB offers up to 10 in-house brews and, through Calmont Beverage, the brewery distributes six beers to nearly 150 stores in Vermont. (These stores carry MRB beer: MRB is also a full-service restaurant — with a Tap Room — that features local food.

For more information on MRB and its mission, watch this short film:
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Friends of Northern Lake Champlain is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization that acts to clean the waters of northern Lake Champlain and its watershed by working collaboratively with citizens, businesses, farmers, and government to reduce land-use pollution. The group’s focus is to catalyze the actions and accountability needed to reduce land-use pollution and securing the essential local, state, and federal funding necessary for successful implementation.

Saturday, February 22, 2020 - 7:00am