After gleaning hundreds of pounds of dates last fall, Iskashitaa Refugee Network put their bounty to use by teaming up with Borderlands Brewing Co. (119 E. Toole Ave.) to create a unique new brew with local dates at the forefront. On Thursday, Dec. 17 local beer lovers can get their first taste of Borderlands’ Harvest Tucson Date Dunkelweizen, which resulted from those Iskashitaa-gathered dates.
Dates, which grow on date palms, are tricky to harvest. With fruiting trees scattered around Tucson, the Medjool dates, indigenous to Iraq, often end up going uncollected. However, this year, Iskashitaa worked in conjunction with Bartlett Tree Experts to get the fruit from the trees and into Iskashitaa’s hands. After harvesting any produce, Iskashitaa redistributes a portion to refugees, while also reserving a portion to make value-added products to sell at farmers markets. In the case of these dates, Borderlands also received some to make their Dunkelweizen.
You can try out the resulting beer at Borderlands on Thursday beginning at 6 p.m. For more information on Iskashitaa and their “Harvest Tucson” campaign to raise awareness about food waste, visit the organization's website.