As the fight against the spread of invasive species <a href="story “>intensifies this summer, a new Lake Minnetonka craft beer company is getting in on the act. Excelsior-based Tonka Beer Co, founded in 2011, plans to donate 100 percent of its profits to Save-Our-Lakes, a nonprofit organization working to raise awareness and fund initiatives to fight invasive species, including zebra mussels, Eurasian milfoil and carp.
Lake Minnetonka is infested with zebra mussels. Like other invasive species, the mussels spread quickly, crowding out native species, harming the environment and threatening water quality.
The three Tonka Beer co-founders, Jason Landstrom, Chad Mayes and Ryan Johnson, grew up in the area and are passionate about the lake. From their press release:
“Swimming, fishing, ice hockey, water skiing, rock skipping, boating, lying on the beach – you name it, we looked forward to it as kids, and still do,” Landstrom said. “We grew up able to enjoy Minnesota’s natural wonders. These precious resources make up some of our fondest memories. We want to do whatever we can to help make sure others can have the same experiences. So we started our beer company. Enjoy a beer – save a lake. It’s a win-win.”
Founders say they hope to donate $10,000 to fighting invasive species this year, and double the amount next year.