For the fourth annual Manatee Pride Festival, Darwin Brewing Co. general manager Matt Cornelius is proud to help in any way he can.

“A project like this is really cool because I have family members who are part of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community and it’s great to participate in giving that community a voice,” Cornelius said. “It’s cool to give them an exclusive beer and show that we are a small business that supports them.”

Cornelius, Darwin Brewing Co. lead brewer Jorge Rosabal, brewer Antonio Hernandez and several members of the Manatee Pride Festival’s organizing committee met on Monday to map out the beer’s flavors. The group decided on a light, crisp, refreshing lager with guava notes. Darwin hasn’t brewed a guava beer in more than a year, Cornelius said.

“I’m not a beer drinker but that (fruit flavor) would make me want to try it,” Manatee Pride Festival committee member Mary Onna Bode said. “And because it will be at Pride, that makes me want to try it.”

Manatee Pride Festival is a fundraiser for Prism Youth Initiative, an organization “dedicated to supporting, affirming, encouraging and empowering the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth ages 13-23 of Manatee County.”

Rick Dorociak, secretary of Prism, said as far as he knows, Manatee Pride, set for March 18, is the first pride festival to have its own exclusive beer.

The beer is exclusive to Manatee Pride Festival and will only be available at the festival. If it’s successful there and area bars want it, Cornelius said they’re open to making more.

WE’RE PROUD TO SUPPORT THE LGBT COMMUNITY.

Matt Cornelius, owner and general manager, Darwin Brewing Co.

Over time, Darwin Brewing Co.’s involvement in the Bradenton and Manatee County community has evolved from a place to stop for a beer to a community partner. Darwin also brewed a beer for the Bradenton Area Half Marathon last year.

“The first two years we were just worried about keeping the lights on and getting beer out,” Cornelius said. “And now that we’ve got our feet under us, a significant part of our focus is becoming a part of the Manatee County and Bradenton community.”