Hops are part of the picture. Water is 95 percent of beer's ingredients.
Brewer Supply Group Hops are part of the picture. Water is 95 percent of beer's ingredients. © Jake Keeler

Stories in Georgia

OktoberForest in Georgia

Georgia breweries are celebrating the essential connections between healthy forests, clean water and good beer.

If you like beer, you should love forests.

Did you know that 95 percent of beer is water? And that more than half of our drinking water is filtered by America's forests?

That's why The Nature Conservancy is celebrating fall with OktoberForest, a collaboration with brewers across the country to raise awareness about the important role that forests play in our water supply. 

Exterior of the Creature Comforts Brewery in Georgia
Creature Comforts Brewery Jacob Yarbrough, Sustainability Lead at Creature Comforts Brewing Co., says "dirty water means dirty beer." © Creature Comforts Brewery

Jacob Yarbrough, Sustainability Lead at Creature Comforts Brewing Co., in Athens, Georgia tells us about the brewery’s approach to sustainability.

white creature comforts brewing co logo over gray background
Creature Comforts Brewing Co. Athens, GA

TNC: How has nature inspired you as a brewery

The natural world holds all kinds of inspiration for us. Our tagline—Crave Curiosity—isn’t just a marketing slogan. We’re always looking for new ideas and new perspectives, and nature contains an abundance of interesting sources for brewing inspiration. We work with local farmers to incorporate new ingredients into small-batch brands, and we’ve even used paint made from our ingredients to label a brand of beer.

TNC: Why is clean water important for brewing beer?

Dirty water means dirty beer, and it’s really that simple. We strive to make the highest quality beer we can, and that begins with having clean, pure water.

TNC: What water source do you use, and how much water do you typically use?

We brew with water provided by the city of Athens, and the workers at the water treatment facility do a fantastic job of providing the city (and us) with consistent, high-quality H2O. As far as usage goes, we try to use less water than the day before.

TNC: What important connections do you see between healthy forests, clean water, and good beer?

The manufacture and packaging of beer actively uses carbon dioxide, and forests act as a vital carbon sink. Forest cover can help retain more groundwater, which means more stability in our available water supply. Good beer promotes forest conservation because good brewers understand that their resources depend upon their surroundings, and water is our primary resource.

TNC: What should folks know about your environmental or sustainability initiatives?

We have a growing sustainability program that tracks our usage of every resource we use—water, electricity, natural gas, and carbon dioxide—and seeks to reduce the amount used through resource management, staff education, and equipment innovation.

TNC: Anything else you want Nature Conservancy supporters to know about you?

We believe that good companies make good neighbors and that our neighborhood doesn’t just include the people around us—our neighborhood includes our landscape, our local streets, and our local parks and plants and animals too. We’re here to make good beer and a better world. 

A group of smiling staff from Eventide Brewing in Georgia.
Eventide Brewing Eventide Brewing's Geoffrey Williams says: "We pride ourselves on being conscientious consumers." © Eventide Brewing
Eventide Brewing logo
Eventide Brewing Atlanta, GA © Eventide Brewing Co.

TNC: How has nature inspired you as a brewery?

Nature has been an inspiration for improving our sustainability and bettering our business practices. We all enjoy spending time outdoors and would like to be able to pass that along for generations to come. We try to stay involved and support our local recycling facility, CHaRM. They are a center that recycles anything and everything. We make weekly trips to avoid creating so much trash in our production process. We’ve partnered with Trees Atlanta in the past and maintain a strong partnership with the Atlanta cycling community. These are groups that work to keep their environment clean and happy.

TNC: Why is clean water important for brewing beer?

Beer is usually around 90% water, so without that clean drinking water there would be no beer. I can’t think of a more important reason than that!

TNC: What water source do you use, and how much water do you typically use?

We are piped into the Atlanta Municipal System, and they actually have a pretty good profile. We use charcoal to remove the chloramine and a magnet and screen filter to remove sediment. Aside from having an RO system, it’s as good as you can get. We use around 35,000 gallons per month in total.

Patio outside of Eventide Brewing in Georgia.
Eventide Brewing Patio outside of Eventide Brewing in Georgia. © Eventide Brewing Co.

TNC: What important connections do you see between healthy forests, clean water, and good beer?

It’s a balance really. Good beer can only come from clean and healthy water. Clean water can only come from healthy forests.

TNC: What else should we know about your environmental or sustainability initiatives?

We pride ourselves on being conscientious consumers. We’ve made efforts over the last few years to ensure that our beer is vegan, minimize our waste in production and Tasting Room practices, and by implementing as many energy saving practices as possible. 

SweetWater

We will be at SweetWater’s taproom Thursday, October 24, from 6-8 p.m., sharing information about the importance of forest health and what we’re doing to protect Georgia’s trees. Stop by to say hi and find out how you can get involved!

OktoberForest If you love beer, you gotta love forests.