Healthy Forests = Clean Water = Good Beer
That’s the mantra for The Nature Conservancy’s OktoberForest campaign to spread awareness for the restoration of forests across the country.
It makes sense, right?
While malt, hops, yeast and other additives get all the hype when brewing, the quality of water is just as — if not more — important to the end product.
The Nature Conservancy is working with 150 breweries across the country to help spread awareness about healthy forests and why they are so crucial to beer.
One of those 150 breweries is right here in our backyard. Tröegs Independent Brewing is the only brewery in Pennsylvania to sign on to help spread awareness for OktoberForest.
“When we were looking for a brewery in Pennsylvania we wanted one whose heart was in conservation, and whose product spoke for that as well,” said Erin Mooney, Communication Director for The Nature Conservancy of PA.
Mooney said Tröegs latched on to the idea right away, and that TNC knew it was a no-brainer to partner with them.
Tröegs + The Nature Conservancy Wissahickon Cleanup
TNC was recently at Tröegs during their Harvest Hopfest to spread the word about OktoberForest, but they are also collaborating on an event outside of Philadelphia to help clean up the Wissahickon.
The Wissahickon Valley provides Philadelphia — and its breweries — with 30 perce t of its drinking water.
After the cleanup, everyone involved will obviously enjoy a few Tröegs beers.
The Nature Conservancy has already been very active in protecting and restoring forestland in Pennsylvania. To date, TNC has already worked to conserve 99,000 acres of forestland around the state.
Why partner with breweries?
Beer is 95 percent water, and half of the water in the United States comes from forests, and they are in need of help.
Ten of the worst fire-years on record have come since 2000. 2015 suffered the worst fire damage ever recorded. Currently, the damaged forest land in need of restoration is larger than the state of Colorado.
The link between brewing and healthy forests also runs much deeper than just the water used in the beer itself.
Brewers and craft beer drinkers regularly use the forests to their advantage. They hike, bike, and travel these forests, often while enjoying a beer or two along the way or as a reward.
Breweries are getting in on the action in a number of ways.
Colorado brewers shared why healthy forests and clean water mattered so much to their product and their community.
In Virginia, 28 breweries joined together to support TNC’s efforts with a series of events, speaking engagements, and fundraisers.
One of TNC’s projects has been to help and preserve the Kittatinny Ridge. The Kittatinny Ridge is a 180-mile ridge that runs from the West Virginia border all the way through Pennsylvania, including part of the Appalachian Trail.
Sitting at the top of that ridge, unbroken forests store and filter rain and snow before flowing into local waterways and eventually faucets throughout our area.
This also is the water that Tröegs uses to brew everything that comes from their Hershey brewery.
Without the Kittatinny Ridge, we wouldn’t have beers like Mad Elf, Nugget Nectar, Perpetual IPA, or any other Tröegs favorites.
How you can help
You give easily by texting “TREES” to 50555 to donate $5 to help support The Nature Conservancy’s forest and water conservation efforts in Pennsylvania.
OktoberForest runs through the end of the month, but The Nature Conservancy has volunteer events year-round across the state and country. If you want to get involved and help save our forest to ensure the best drinking water possible, check out where you can volunteers next.