KSU helps create pawpaw beer

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WTVQ) – The pawpaw fruit has become largely forgotten but Kentucky State University is hoping to change that and it is getting some help from beer-lovers.

A pawpaw is a tropical fruit in the custard apple family but it can be grown in colder climates. In Kentucky, it grows in the wild.

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“Pawpaws are native to most of the eastern us,” said Sheri Crabtree with KSU’s land grant program.

KSU has the only, full-time pawpaw research program in the world. It’s part of KSU’s land grand program.

“If you’re familiar with pawpaws in the wild, a lot of times they’re smaller,” said Crabtree. “We’re developing new varieties that have larger fruit, better tasting fruit.”

Some of the new varieties will be used to make a new Kentucky Proud Beer.

Crabtree explains the Kentucky Department of Agriculture contacted her about finding pawpaws to flavor the beer. Crabtree got the KDA connected with a commercial grower and supplied some additional fruit. Monnik Beer Co. of Louisville is brewing the beer.

“It will expose some people to pawpaw who may not have heard of it.”