Asian elephant Sujatha chooses among several malted barleys for a signature beer, to be named Big Ear Beer, for the Santa Barbara Zoo’s upcoming Zoo Brew fundraiser on June 2.

Though the third annual, sure-to-sell-out Zoo Brew doesn’t take over the Santa Barbara Zoo until June 2, the beasts are already buzzing with excitement.

The Brewhouse’s Pete Johnson gets a “two trunk salute” from elephants Sujatha and Little Mac. The pachyderms selected the ingredients that Johnson will use to brew "Big Ear Beer."

On Monday, the zoo’s resident Asian elephants, Sujantha and Little Mac, met up with brewmaster Pete Johnson of The Brewhouse to plan for this year’s special treat, Big Ear Beer. The specially crafted brew follows in the tradition of 2010’s Channel Island Fox Tail Pale Ale and Daniel’s Long Neck Lager of 2011, which was an ode to the recently born giraffe calf. This is the first year, however, that the animals themselves played a role in picking the ingredients, and, though no one seems to keep records of these things, it just might be the first time that’s ever been done anywhere.

Tickets for Zoo Brew go on sale today, May 1, and are expected to sell out. See


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.