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Fernson Brewing Company Launches New “Zoo Brew” Beer to Benefit the Great Plains Zoo’s Lion Exhibit

May 21, 2018

Fernson Brewing Company and the Great Plains Zoo are unveiling a new version of a special beer for a great cause.  Zoo Brew, a new summer ale developed by Fernson Brewing Company, will be sold for a limited time in local Hy-Vee stores. Two dollars from each Zoo Brew case sold will benefit the Zoo’s new Lion exhibit.

“We’re grateful to Fernson Brewing Company and Hy-Vee for their continued partnership on this exciting Zoo Brew project,” said Elizabeth A. Whealy, President and CEO of the Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum of Natural History. “The community response when Zoo Brew was initially introduced last year was tremendous, and we’re excited to continue this collaboration to benefit our new Lion exhibit.”

“It was amazing to see the support from the community for Zoo Brew when it hit store shelves last year,” said Riccardo Tarabelsi, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Fernson Brewing Company. “We’re excited for the public to try the new Zoo Brew recipe, which will only be offered for a limited time.” 

Zoo Brew is locally brewed in Sioux Falls, and is a different version of the beer by the same name first launched in 2017 to benefit the Zoo’s Brown Bear exhibit. A six-pack of Zoo Brew retails for $8.99, and is available at the two Fernson locations and seven Hy-Vee stores throughout Sioux Falls, along with Hy-Vee locations in Brookings, Yankton and Vermillion.   

“Our local Hy-Vee stores are proud to again partner with the Great Plains Zoo and Fernson Brewing Company,” said Matt Heldenbrand, Store Director of the Sioux Falls Empire Mall Hy-Vee store. “We are happy to help raise money to bring Lions back to the Great Plains Zoo and to make this exciting exhibit become a reality.”

The Great Plains Zoo recently shared plans for a new Lion habitat, which will feature a pride of up to 10 Lions, including cubs, and additional exhibits for other Leopards and Meerkats. The project also includes renovations to the Maasai Market Café to expand seating and enhance exhibit viewing opportunities for the Zoo’s more than 300,000 visitors. To learn more about this project, visit 

  • Love this zoo! Great place to get a walk in and the animals are everywhere! The museum/indoor part is very educational too. Has a lot of shade for when it's hot out. Very clean. Friendly staff.

    Taylor F.
  • We love to visit the zoo. They have great outdoor exhibits and lots to do inside as well. Great for kids and adults.

    Robin A.
  • Lots of great exhibits and animals to see! Fun gift shop and learning center.

    Stephanie N.
  • The museum gives you a break from the sun on hot summer days and has a great selection of animal exhibits from around the world.  The zoo keeps growing and adding new animal habitats or improving existing ones.  Membership offers reciprocal benefits to other zoos around the country.

    Bill T.