West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon in Coconino National Forest, Arizona.
Arizona Forest West Fork of Oak Creek Canyon in Coconino National Forest, Arizona. © Gavin Emmons

Stories in Arizona

Why Forests Matter to Arizona Brewers

Three Arizona Brewers have joined our OktoberForest campaign to protect beer's main ingredient, water.

The arrival of fall always brings colorful leaves, brisk air, creative costumes and festive gatherings to northern Arizona. The Nature Conservancy is joining the fun with OktoberForest, a collaboration with local breweries to raise awareness about the important role that forests play in our water supply. 

Lumberyard Brewing Company

"Healthy forests are key to our success because forested lands and Flagstaff’s water supply are very connected. Flagstaff is surrounded by the largest continuous ponderosa pine forest in the world and 100 percent of the city’s water supplies come from these forested lands.

A healthy ponderosa pine forest is not only a beautiful place for hiking and playing, but it provides the clean water and outdoor recreation opportunities that drive much of the local economy. Unfortunately, our forest is at risk of unnaturally catastrophic fires that often have great impacts on our local water quantity and quality.

The 2010 Shultz Fire shut down a municipal water line for over a year and caused devastating flood events to the Flagstaff community.

Restoring Arizona’s forests helps prevent the damaging fires that can cause real harm to the water we need. Without ample, clean fresh water, brewers like us simply couldn’t continue to operate.

Flagstaff’s water is very special due to its high quality. Lumberyard Brewing Company does not need to do any additional treatment of the city water supply.

In 1976 my family donated 38 acres of forest on the peaks to the Flagstaff Unified School District creating Camp Colton. We continue to support and guide the science-based education programs and forest access that has been made available to grade school students for over 40 years.

In 1994 my family gifted Hart Prairie Preserve’s 245 acres to The Nature Conservancy, 15 miles north west of Flagstaff. We greatly value the restoration projects on the preserve and the partnerships The Nature Conservancy is developing across the larger landscape to help restore Arizona’s forests."

—Winnie Hanseth, Owner of Lumberyard Brewing

Jonathan Buford and Patrick Ware, owners of Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co.
Wilderness Brewing Jonathan Buford and Patrick Ware, owners of Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co. © Evan Rackle

Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company

"The belief in sustainability stems from the connection to our planet. If the energy and resources that we take from Earth is not properly harnessed, or is used in excess, the natural world will surely suffer. In particular, water is a precious resource to our desert state. Summer monsoons and winter snow runoff provide us a masterpiece of this natural resource.

We not only live by water as our essential lifeblood, but we get great recreation and enjoyment from it as well. And let's face it, no water means no beer!

Sustainability, however, doesn't need to be a daunting task of grand proportions. Rather, a microcosm of a network of decisions made on a local level. If each of us protected the general area surrounding us, it would be a formidable force. We'd all be reaping positive benefits that we all can enjoy. We merely wish to be a reminder of such efforts.

Simply put: it's in our nature to protect nature. We must not succumb to our desires to forgo our true spirit of conservation."

—Jonathan Buford and Patrick Ware, Owners of Arizona Wilderness Brewing

The Brew Crew at Borderlands
Borderlands Brewing The Brew Crew at Borderlands © Borderlands Brewing
OktoberForest Coaster Graphic 200x250
Borderlands Brewing

Borderlands Brewing Co.

"We here at Borderlands are passionate about our community. It's why we so often partner with the non-profit sector in Tucson to support the institutions that make our community a better place to live.

Nevertheless, our core mission is to make outstanding beer. To do that we need water, and lots of it. This year we are slated to produce about 1,200 barrels or about 38,000 gallons of beer, and for every gallon of beer that's made it takes about 3 gallons of water. That's why water is so important to us. And, it's essential for life and civilization.

This need for water becomes even more stark in our desert home. The Colorado River that provides most of the drinking water for the desert Southwest, Colorado and California will likely be unable to provide for the water needs of that gigantic population within 50 years. That's why we are doing what we can now to avoid the worst consequences of the coming water crisis. It's why our President, Mike, serves on the advisory council and outreach committees of Conserve2Enhance, a local water conservation organization dedicated to conserving water and improving riparian habitat. It's why Landon, our brewer, conserves water at home, and captures rainwater to irrigate his garden and yard. It's why we participated in the AZ Purewater Brew Challenge, because using reclaimed water is likely going to be an essential part of Arizona's water future and it's our responsibility to help people accept that.

But most of all we can't make good beer without good water and it's why we're so passionate about that too."

—Mike Mallozzi, President of Borderlands Brewing

OktoberForest Events

  • October 23, 2019 from 5 – 7 p.m.

    OktoberForest at Arizona Wilderness Brewery, 201 E. Roosevelt St, downtown Phoenix. Tree-via and prizes for entertainment, plus a special OktoberForest brew.

  • October 24, 2019 from 5 – 7 p.m.

    OktoberForest at Borderlands Brewing Company, 119 E. Toole, downtown Tucson. Tree-via, prizes and live polka music.

Healthy Forests = Clean Water = Great Beer From the tree canopy all the way down to root systems, forests play a critical role in cleaning, storing and protecting our water—beer's main ingredient.