Balashi Brewery encourages customers to recycle their empty bottles for instant cash back (Afl .25 per bottle or Afl 6 per case). Balashi is the only brewer on Aruba to offer incentivized recycling, with a long-term goal to contribute to Aruba’s overall sustainability efforts. And now, there are some furry friends on the island that are also benefitting from these recycling efforts.
Luna Foundation, a local non-profit made up of a small group of dedicated volunteers, has a mission of positively impacting the lives of Aruba’s street dogs and strays. Creating awareness and educating the island’s youth on animal welfare, the importance of spaying and neutering, and vaccinations is the first priority of the foundation. The foundation has also created a dog sanctuary, offering shelter, food, healthcare, and lots of love to these dogs in need. With no government assistance, Luna Foundation relies on the goodwill of the community and visitors to our island for donations to fund the costs of the sanctuary (currently with 61 dogs and puppies under their care) and their various operating expenses.
Teaming up with Balashi Brewery and further promoting the recycling of Balashi, Chill, and Magic Mango bottles, Luna Foundation is asking the community to donate their bottles for recycling. It’s as easy as a WhatsApp message to +297-561-0706: Luna Foundation will come to you to collect your empties. The money received upon return to Balashi Brewery will help fund Luna Foundation’s efforts.
To learn more about Luna Foundation and their ongoing volunteer work, visit their Facebook page lunafoundationaruba.
Donkey Sanctuary Aruba
Donkeys have been a part of Aruba’s culture for the past 500 years. Before Aruba was introduced to cars, donkeys were the islanders’ leading form of transportation. Once cars became commonplace, however, donkeys were no longer perceived as a necessity, and were essentially left to wander.
Malnourishment, disease, disappearing natural habitat, and systematic attrition reduced the donkey population from an estimated 1,400 at the turn of the 20th century to only 20 in the early 1970s.
With the local donkey population nearly decimated, a non-profit organization was founded in 1997 as the Donkey Sanctuary Aruba with the sole purpose of saving and caring for the donkeys on the island. It is now estimated that there may be close to 200 donkeys on the island, with just over 130 at the sanctuary.
The sanctuary is located in Bringamosa, surrounded by Aruba’s natural landscape, the new location in Bringamosa provides plenty of space for the sanctuary’s donkeys to roam freely. The sanctuary strives to provide the donkeys with a peaceful habitat where they are loved and cared for.
Balashi Brewery supports the Donkey Sanctuary Aruba by donating products that can be sold to visitors at the refreshment center on the sanctuary premises. Learn more about the Donkey Sanctuary Aruba at http://main.arubandonkey.org/portal/
Brew Master Eduardo Fernow Brings a Lifetime of Knowledge to Balashi Brewery
Balashi Brewery is Aruba’s first and only high-tech brewery, producing Aruba’s beloved national beer, Balashi Pilsner, since 1999. The local beer, uniquely brewed with Aruba’s pristine desalinated water, malt imported from Holland, and hops from Germany, quickly became the beer of choice for locals over the next two decades.
There is always room for improvement, and in 2018, brew master Eduardo Fernow was brought on to lead the local brewery team to tweak brewery operations, improve overall quality of products, and create new beers for the Balashi portfolio.
Eduardo brings a wealth of knowledge that he began accumulating decades ago as a teenager in his home country of Venezuela. At the age of 17, he completed basic school and was awaiting his university enrollment in the faculty of medicine. Eduardo’s German father—opposed to idle hands and insisting everyone living in the home contributes—helped secure a temporary job through a friend that was one of the brew masters at Cervecería Polar.
Eduardo worked as an apprentice in the brewery’s lab and was instantly enthralled with the brewing process. His constant thirst for knowledge was not overlooked, with the brewery offering Eduardo a scholarship to study at University of Munich’s prestigious brew master academic institute, Weihenstephan, the site of one of the world’s oldest breweries, located in Freising, Bavaria and established in 1010 AD. Eduardo’s apprenticeship at the brewery would set the foundation for a lifetime occupation.
Eduardo studied three years of theoretical classes and two years of practical experience. After completing his studies, he was offered a position as one of 30 brew masters for Polar. For the next 45 years, the brew master would hone his craft at this brewery—once ranked 17th in the world and producing some 18 million hectoliters of beer a year. The brew master also worked with a local university to set up a brew master program for local students to have access to formal training.
With the socio-political unrest in modern-day Venezuela, Eduardo decided it was time to leave Venezuela and take his time-earned knowledge and experience to another brewery. Eduardo connected with a brewery consultant firm in Germany and was presented with two opportunities: a brew master was needed at a brewery in Cameroon, and another for a brewery on the island of Aruba. It was no contest—Aruba it was!
Over the past three and a half years, Eduardo has worked on perfecting the brewing process of both Balashi and Chill beers, while also overseeing the introduction of the Magic profile of fruit-driven beers. For Eduardo, there is nothing more rewarding than to be where he is in his career now and is thankful to Balashi Brewery for this opportunity. “I am happy to be able to use my years of knowledge to develop great beers…and living on Aruba—it’s like a holiday on the beach!”
*Watch for next month’s blog, where we learn more about Balashi Brewery’s improvement to the freshness of the original Balashi Pilsner and the growth and expansion of the brewery that is currently underway.