Slothen Bräu: The Los Angeles Zoo’s Resident Sloth Just Helped Develop a New Beer

Damocean/iStock via Getty Images
Damocean/iStock via Getty Images / Damocean/iStock via Getty Images

For the past nine years, the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens—located in California's Griffith Park—has held the annual fundraiser Brew at the L.A. Zoo. Here, animal lovers and hop heads can sample drinks from 40 local and regional breweries, wineries, and distilleries, while interacting with a Komodo dragon, alligators, and elephants.

This year, the zoo's resident Linné's two-toed sloth, Charlie, climbed down from his tree long enough to make himself useful. His animal keeper laid out a variety of foods in an effort to coax the sloth into picking out the flavors for a specialty beer to be brewed for the event, including zucchini, squash, roses, pears, yams, and beets. “He went straight for the roses and straight for the pear,” Megan, one of the zoo's keepers, said.

The zoo partners with brewery/beer pub Simmzy’s Pub, which has several locations throughout Los Angeles. Simmzy’s head brewmaster, Brian Herbertson, took the “claw-selected" pear and roses and brewed them into a beer aptly named Slothen Bräu. The beer has been described as “somewhere between an ale and a lager, with a distinct German Kolsch vibe.” Slothen Bräu will debut on August 2 (which is also International Beer Day) at Brew at the L.A. Zoo and at Simmzy’s Pubs.

It's not the first time the zoo has let one of their residents play brewmaster for a day: Last year, a black bear named Ranger chose hibiscus and honey for the zoo's Simmzy’s collaboration. Apparently animals are great at picking ingredients. No word yet on what Charlie thinks of his beer.