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Partner Spotlight: Jackalope Brewing Company

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Partner Spotlight: Jackalope Brewing Company

The Land Trust for Tennessee enjoys partnering with a variety of businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other civic leaders interested in furthering land conservation in their communities – from the historic Hermitage Hotel in downtown Nashville to Tennessee State Parks. Our missions and daily activities may be different, but we share the common goal to see the places we call home protected.

Jackalope Brewing Company, founded and led by CEO Bailey Spaulding, has been one of our long-standing partners. In 2013, they became the first Nashville craft brewery to can its beer and now distribute throughout Middle Tennessee, Chattanooga, and Memphis.1 Jackalope have also demonstrated just how much of a natural fit a brewery and land trust can be.

Meet Bailey + Jackalope

Jackalope Brewing’s Baily Spaulding. Photo courtesy of Jackalope.

Q:      How long have you known The Land Trust then?

A:      I was very involved in the environmental groups at Vanderbilt Law, heading up both the Environmental Law Society and the Environmental Law & Policy Annual Review. I became familiar with The Land Trust at that point. After graduation, I did a six-month fellowship with The Land Trust in 2009-2010. It was a really great experience!

Q:      What made you take the leap from law into the brewing business?

A:      I spent most of law school homebrewing and thinking about starting my own brewery. It became my passion and seemed like a great time to take advantage of it. I wrote the business plan while doing my fellowship with The Land Trust. I told myself that, by the end of the fellowship, I needed to decide which way I was going. Needless to say, The Land Trust staff were very supportive when I told them of my plans.

Q:      How did Jackalope’s partnership with The Land Trust then begin?

A:      It really just stemmed from a conversation I had with Jeanie Nelson (then President & CEO) about brewing and growing hops. I described the plant to her, and she thought it would be a great idea to try to grow some at Glen Leven Farm. The next thing we knew, we planted 36 cascade vines in the front field in the spring of 2013.

Q:      How does Jackalope support The Land Trust’s conservation work?

A:      The brewery tries to be involved on many levels. We donate a percentage of the proceeds from our beer brewed with Glen Leven Farm hops to The Land Trust every year. We have educational material about The Land Trust in our taproom when that beer is on draft, as well, to try to bring some awareness to our patrons. More creatively, in 2017, Jackalope hosted a dinner at Glen Leven Farm with the proceeds going to The Land Trust. I’d love to do that again, we just didn’t have time last year because of opening our new brewery location. And of course, we provide beer for public events whenever we can!

Q:      What do you find the most rewarding about partnering with The Land Trust?

A:      It’s pretty amazing to be able to drive just three miles from the brewery and visit the hops. Glen Leven Farm is so beautiful and is a great reminder of the natural beauty of our state and the importance of the work that the Land Trust does. I love being connected to the brewing process on the agricultural level – it’s the same idea as knowing where your food comes from.

My husband and I also have a strong connection to Glen Leven Farm with some great memories of spending time there together.

Q:      What’s next on the horizon for the partnership?

A:      We just replanted the hops in a new location because the trees around the original plot started to encroach and block the sun. I’m excited to see how these new vines will grow. We’ll be harvesting from them in August for a brew that comes out in September. We’ve also got a limited release beer out right now, called Free Folk, which was fermented using wild yeast that we collected from Glen Leven. It’s delicious!

To learn more about how Jackalope grows hops visit “Did You Know: Jackalope Grows Hops!”.

Your support fuels our commitment to protect conserved land for years to come and to partner with others who are driven to do the same. Please consider a gift to support conservation in both our communities and wild, open spaces across Tennessee.

1 “The Jackalope Story”, Jackalope Brewing Company