Monday morning, Hernando de Soto himself helped brew a custom beer at Darwin Brewing Co. for the Hernando De Soto Historical Society’s annual Bradenton Area Half Marathon on Oct. 15.
Zeke Eckersen, the 70th Hernando de Soto for the 2016-2017 season, helped with a to-be-named beer brewed on Darwin’s 10-gallon pilot system. The custom brew will debut in October at the Bradenton Area Half Marathon’s post-race festivities, hosted on City Hall’s grounds. Darwin is working with several downtown bars and restaurants, including Pier 22, to serve the beer between the De Soto Seafood Festival and the De Soto Grand Parade next year.
Darwin hosted Eckersen, 2016-2017 Captain of the Crewe of De Soto Bob Richardson, President of the society Tom Murphy, society Executive Director Ray Niecestro, marathon committee Chair Stacey Romano and the society’s social media guru Katie Howard at Darwin Brewing Co., 803 17th Ave. W., for the initial stage of the brewing process. The beer will take 2 1/2 weeks to a month to complete, Darwin owner and general manager Matt Cornelius said.
It’s a nice way for us to give back to the community
Matt Cornelius, Darwin Brewing Co. owner and general manager
Darwin brew master Jorge Rosabal describes the beer as an “old-style, bitter English beer.”
“It’s got an amber color and a full body,” Rosabal said. “It’s a good balance between the hops and sweetness from the malt.”
The beer is 5.2 percent alcohol by volume.
“While our brews are evolved from the flavors of Latin America and Florida, the De Soto organization honors the legacy of Spanish explorers,” Cornelius said in a release about the race’s custom brew. “It’s a perfect pairing.”
“We felt a new signature event for our area deserved a special touch, and we are thrilled that Darwin’s was able to give us this unique aspect,” Romano said in the release.