Backside Brewing Co. introduced a new beer in honor of the cheetah program at Wildlife Safari.

Primal Pilsner was unveiled last week at the brewery with Khayam the cheetah in attendance. Backside Brewing will donate $1 for every six pack and $20 for every keg sold from the new line of beer to the cheetah breeding program at Wildlife Safari.

“We always wanted to do something with a packaged beer with the Wildlife Safari,” company owner KC McKillip said. “The safari is just such a huge part of the community here.”

He said adding including the contributions from each sale was “just too easy not to.”

“It’s a good cause to help feed the animals,” McKillip said. “Drink our beer and it will help feed the animals.”

Wildlife Safari Executive Director Dan Van Slyke said Wildlife Safari is working on adding alcoholic beverages to the restaurant in the Safari Village and plans on featuring the new beer.

“Years ago, they used to sell beer at Wildlife Safari and we haven’t through the years,” Van Slyke said. “We have an outside eating area with a food service booth where we’re going to sell cans of beer, also in our restaurant itself.

Van Slyke said it is a fun way to celebrate Wildlife Safari.

“It’s a cool-looking can,” Van Slyke said. “It looks like kind of an ornery looking cheetah. Pilsner is a really good middle-of-the-road beer that most people really like, so they wanted to do that and maybe seasonally release different beers for us.”

The beer is available in local retailers like Sherm’s Thunderbird Market and all three Douglas County Grocery Outlets. McKillip said he is working on getting it to more small markets and regional locations.

“Nowadays, in the beer world, it’s like 50% beer, 50% art because there’s so many out there,” McKillip said. “Who can make the coolest label? Being with the safari, it gives us a lot of opportunity to be super creative with animals. It’s a super fun project and gives us an excuse to brew new beers.”

Janelle Polcyn can be reached at or 541-957-4204. Or follow her on Twitter


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Janelle Polcyn is a reporter at The News-Review, graduated from the University of Texas, and is a podcast enthusiast.

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