Rustech Lupulin Cancer fund

Jeff Hage / Monticello Times

Rustech Brewing Company of Monticello has joined Lupulin Brewing Company of Big Lake in raising money for the Jonathan Zierdt Cancer Fund. The owners of the two breweries got together on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at Rustech Brewing Company to mark the release of Rustech’s new New England IPA, Cygnified. Pictured from left to right are Bill Burt of Rustech Brewing Company, Jeff Zierdt of Lupulin Brewing Company and Penny Burt of Rustech Brewing Company. 

A Monticello brewery is joining forces with breweries across the state to raise awareness of the issues related to men’s cancer.

Rustech Brewing Company, 105 W Third Street, Monticello, is donating proceeds from each pint, crowler and growler of its New England IPA, Cygnified, to the Jonathan Zierdt Cancer Fund during the month of November.

The cancer fund was established in 2017 by Jonathan and Ginger Zierdt through the Mankato Area Foundation. In March 2019, Jonathan Zierdt died of prostate cancer after a 5-year battle with the disease.

Jonathan Zierdt is the brother of Jeff Zierdt of Monticello, a co-founder of Lupulin Brewing Company in Big Lake. In 2018 Lupulin Brewing Company and Mankato Brewing Company collaborated on a beer brewed in Jonathan Zierdt’s honor called Hero Hazy IPA to bring attention to men’s health and cancer awareness during the month of November. The breweries released the beer again on November 1, 2019. Cans of the beer feature a cartoon-like depiction of Jonathan Zierdt wearing a Superman-like costume with the letters JZ underneath a dress shirt.

The tagline for the beer is: “A true hero isn’t measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart.”

In addition to brewing Hero Hazy IPA in 2019, Lupulin and Mankato invited other Minnesota breweries to join in the fundraising campaign for the Jonathan Zierdt Cancer Fund. 

Bill and Penny Burt, owners of Monticello’s Rustech Brewing Company, couldn’t pass up the chance to lend a hand to their neighboring brewing company.

With Hero Hazy IPA’s release on November 1 and the kick-off of the Lupulin-Mankato fundraising effort and Rustech’s November 5 release of Cygnified, the stars seemed aligned to join the Jonathan Zierdt Cancer Fund effort.

“The timing was just right,” Rustech’s Bill Burt said.

Joining Rustech in donating proceeds from their beers to the cancer fund are Alloy Brewing Company of Coon Rapids, Blue Wolf Brewing Company of Brooklyn Park, Broken Clock Brewing Cooperative of Minneapolis, Clockwerks Brewing Company of Minneapolis, Drastic Measures Brewing Company of Wadena, Fergus Brewing Company of Fergus Falls, Garphish Brewing Company of Bethel, HeadFlyer Brewing Company of Minneapolis, Lift Bridge Brewing Company of Stillwater, Little Thistle Brewing Company of Rochester, Pantown Brewing Company of St. Cloud, Shakopee Brew Hall of Shakopee, Sociable Cider Werks of Minneapolis, Surley Brewing Company of Minneapolis, Uncommon Loon Brewing Company of Chisago City, and Venn Brewing Company of Minneapolis.

This collaborative effort to raise money among the breweries was born in the Spring of 2019 at an awards banquet hosted by the Minnesota Brewers Guild.

Lupulin Brewing and Mankato Brewing were receiving an award for best collaboration of 2018 for the first launch of Hero Hazy IPA.

Jeff Zierdt said he and Mankato Brewing co-owner Tim Tupy were humbled by the honor and sought a way to capitalize on the honor with their network of beer-brewing friends.

That’s when 19 Minnesota breweries came together to raise money for the Jonathan Zierdt Cancer Fund.

“We are super excited to keep Jonathan’s purpose of “living fully alive” and the pride he had for craft beer by embracing the cause among the craft beer industry in Minnesota, Jeff Zierdt said.

People can support the Jonathan Zierdt Cancer Fund by purchasing “Cygnified” at Rustech Brewing Company Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3-9 p.m., Thursdays from 3-10 p.m., Fridays from 3-11 p.m., Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Across the river in Big Lake, Lupulin is donating a $1 from every beer sold on Thursdays in November in its Big Lake taproom. Lupulin is located at 570 Humboldt Drive, Big Lake.

Editor

Jeff Hage is the managing editor of the Monticello Times. He majored in journalism at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire.

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