The Nature Conservancy this October is celebrating OktoberForest, highlighting the connection between healthy forests, clean water and great beer. We're partnering with more than 150 breweries around the U.S. that understand the critical role that forests play in providing clean water - not only for their product, beer, but also for life itself.
To explore the connection here in Nevada, we sat down with Patty Cronin, head brewer of Under the Rose Brewing Co. in Reno.
Thanks Patty and Under the Rose Brewing Company for participating in OktoberForest! You’re helping to make the connection between healthy forests, clean water and your product, beer. Can you tell us a little bit about Under the Rose?
Under the Rose brewing company is a little Mom-and-Pop-shop brewery that was started by Scott Emond and Jesse Kleinedler. They’re not originally from this area, but came here from back East and stayed after falling in love with our beautiful mountains. That’s where the brewery got its name: Under the Rose, as in Mt. Rose. They opened the brewery in late summer of 2013 and recently opened a second location in Reno’s famous Midtown district.
What’s special about Reno—why do you choose to do your brewing here?
Patty: I have lived here my whole life and have been brewing here for last 11 years. I brew here because it’s my home, and I love the Truckee Meadows area. It would take a lot for me to leave. We are very active in our community and support many environmental nonprofit groups nonprofits for humans, too.
Tell us about how water figures into your production process? Why is clean water important for brewing beer?
If the water that I brew with were to change either pH or mineral content, my beers flavor would drastically change. Not only that, my yeast strain performance would ultimately change as well. That could mean the end of a brewing company if no major solution is found fast.
Do your operations include any sustainable practices?
At Under the Rose, we have had no budget to afford the equipment for serious sustainability and water reclamation, but that is the eventual goal. In the meantime, we have lots of practices of reusing chemicals, spent grain, water, and water recovery.
On a personal note, why do you support forests?
The forests matter to me because they are not only beautiful, but also vital to the world we live in. Change the water or damage the water that feeds the forest, and eventually it will affect me in a physical capacity: Oxygen. Also, I love to fly fish and forests are where a lot fish are!