Brewery
Urban Growler Brewery © Urban Growler

Stories in Minnesota

Why Minnesota Forests Matter to Urban Growler

Celebrating OktoberForest in Minnesota

Brewing Company
Urban Growler Brewing Company © Urban Growler

Conveniently located between the Twin Cities’ two downtowns, Urban Growler has been making great local beer for the past five years as the first women-owned microbrewery in Minnesota. Co-Head Honchos, Deb and Jill, shared their love of craft brew and healthy forests with us.

nature.org: Where does Urban Growler get the water it uses to make beer?

Deb: We get our water from St. Paul Regional Water Services. The primary source is the Mississippi River that is filtered through a chain of lakes. It is first released in Charlie Lake in North Oaks, it then flows into Pleasant Lake, then into Sucker lake and then into Lake Vadnais, which is where the water is collected from.

nature.org: What makes the Mississippi River special to you?

Jill: Having lived within a mile of it my entire life, it seems like a constant that threads through the city. I have played on the banks on the Mississippi, swam in the river, and drank my first beer on it!

nature.org: Do your operations include any sustainable practices?

Deb: Yes! We are small and do what we can but are constantly looking for ways to improve. We use cans instead of bottles to reduce our transportation costs. We have smaller delivery vehicles to save on fuel. We’ve converted our lighting to LEDs and had solar panels installed on our roof. We recycle and compost, and all of our spent grain gets used as livestock feed. We also re-use the water that we use to cool the beer with in the brewing process. Finally, our kitchen sources most its meat from within a 100-mile radius, and our seafood is sustainable certified.

nature.org: Wow that’s a lot. Impressive for such a small operation!

Deb: Yes, it is. But we’ve figured that for every ounce of water we can save, that’s another ounce of beer we can brew!

nature.org: On a personal note, why do you support forests?

Jill: The forest is my place to recharge and rejuvenate.  It reflects the seasons and reminds me to change my outlooks as the foliage changes. 

Learn more about OktoberForest.

Healthy Forests = Clean Water = Great Beer Beer and forests may seem like an odd connection, but forests provide 40% of the world's usable water, beer's main ingredient.