Cheers to Beers for Bears

Cheers to Beers for Bears

Dunedin-based New New New Corporation (Fermented Beverage Division) and NHNZ’s Wild Studios are collaborating on a bold new online video and fundraising initiative; brewing beer to help threatened sun bears. This innovative project will help to support the Sun Bear Outreach charity in Borneo.

NHNZ’s short-form division, Wild Studios, is creating a web series to showcase how New New New (NNN) is crafting an American brown ale in the sun bears’ name. A portion of the proceeds from every beer sold will be donated toward Sun Bear Outreach. Wild Studios’ online webisodes will delve into the fascinating process of brewing beer and celebrate the people coming together to support the cause, including a launch party on Friday 2nd November, 2018.

NHNZ became aware of the sun bears’ plight while filming an upcoming series, "Orangutan Jungle School", at the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOSF) Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre. While BOSF and the NHNZ film crew’s work focused on orangutans, the arrival of an orphaned sun bear cub, named Denny Bear, uncovered the struggles that this vulnerable species also faces in order to survive in the wilds of Borneo.

BOSF cares for 16 sun bears at their existing facility. However, ideally the bears would be cared for at a sanctuary dedicated solely to sun bears. Fortunately such a place does now exist, called Sun Bear Outreach. Transporting the sun bears from Central Kalimantan to Sun Bear Outreach in East Kalimantan is expensive. This is the motivation behind NHNZ and New New New’s fundraiser; to support the transport of these precious bears, expand the Sun Bear Outreach facility and spread awareness about sun bears. These bears require sanctuaries due to the destruction of their habitat, including large-scale deforestation for palm oil plantations.[i] Sun bears are classified by the IUCN as Vulnerable.

“NHNZ created the Wild Studios division to help use our award-winning production skills to promote awareness of true stories that are important to us. Once the seed of the ‘Beers for Bears’ idea was planted, the collaboration with New New New really took off. We are excited to taste the finished product, but even more excited to see the positive impacts of this online video and fundraising campaign for the sun bears,” says NHNZ Managing Director, Kyle Murdoch.

Close connections with NHNZ meant collaborating on a fundraising beer was quickly embraced.  “After a couple of small batches were taste-tested and tweaked, the Sun Bear brew was born, in the form of an American brown ale, and with the label design in the conceptual stages, NNN is preparing to release a very delicious beer with a mission. Not just a superior product, but a way of raising both awareness and funds for the rescue and rehabilitation of sun bears in Indonesia,” explains New New New’s Dallas Synnott.

Tom Koykka, NHNZ’s Post Production Manager and a leader of this project, says “When looking at fundraising models, so many just have their hands out. We wanted something that would entertain, educate, have a global reach, and offer something in return. We wanted more than just feeling good. Have a beer and help a worthy cause. It’s all about the win-win.”

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for the release of videos, information about how to help the cause, and something tasty to drink at New New New. NHNZ’s short-form video content about this project will soon be freely available online to spread the word.

Scotson, L., Fredriksson, G., Ngoprasert, D., Wong, W. M., & Fieberg, J. (2017). Projecting range-wide sun bear population trends using tree cover and camera-trap bycatch data. PloS one, 12(9), e0185336.
“Populations are threatened by rapid deforestation [20,21], with steeper declines detected in areas of high deforestation compared with areas of low deforestation [22].”
“Sun Bears are forest dependent species, and, thus area of forest loss is directly linked with population decline. Southeast Asia, which comprises nearly all of the species global range, has experienced a higher relative rate of forest loss over the past 30 years than any other part of the world (Sodhi et al. 2004, 2010; Miettinen et al. 2011; Margono et al. 2012, 2014; Dong et al. 2014).” … “Sun Bears are threatened primarily by deforestation and commercial hunting, which occurs to varying degrees throughout the range (Duckworth et al. 2012, Stibig et al. 2014). Killing due to human-bear conflicts is an additional threat, although less obvious in its impact.”