This October, The Nature Conservancy 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 that connection here in New Mexico, we sat down with Bosque Brewing Co.’s chief experience officer and Certified Cicerone® Jess Greigo.
Why is your brewery participating in OktoberForest this year?
Bosque is participating in OktoberForest this year in the spirit of raising awareness about the importance of protecting New Mexico water and forests, as well as to celebrate our first year as official signatories for the Rio Grande Water Fund!.
What do you think people know about the connection of forests to water to beer?
Beer is not possible without water! In fact, water is up to 95% of the entire beer recipe in some cases. Accessible water is not only foundational to basically every aspect of human life, but for Bosque Brewing Co., it is also an integral piece of our business and livelihoods.
How does water impact your beer?
You may not think so on the surface, but brewing water's mineral content, hardness or softness, and overall treatment before it reaches us has an enormous impact on the final flavor of our beer. Many historical styles still brewed and consumed today taste the way they do because of the water that was available in the region that it was originally brewed. Light lagers for example, originated in Bohemia (modern day Czech Republic) specifically because of the very soft water in the area, which allowed for pleasantly hoppy light beers that showcased pale malts and noble hops.
What does the Rio Grande mean to you and your community?
The Rio Grande and surrounding bosque areas (our namesake) defines who we are! Not only because we share the name, but because of how the Rio Grande and specifically the bosque brings people from all walks of life together to create an amazing and diverse New Mexico community. We aim to bring all of the things we love about the New Mexico outdoors into our taproom spaces to provide world-class beers and experiences that highlight everything we love about the place we all call home.
How is this issue personal to you?
It is so, so, important to me as a member of our community to not only take care of our home and environment, but do what I can to leave it better than I found it for future generations. It is an honor to do my part to participate in raising awareness about protecting the water, land, and forests that we all love so much. All of our staff have a deeply personal connection to the landscape surrounding Santa Fe and spend a lot of time outside on our public lands. Our Head Brewer recalls one of his most poignant moments mountaineering, camped in the woods above the headwaters of the Rio Grande and looking down to realize that this is the water that keeps us alive, feeds us and nourishes our souls.
If you like beer, you should love forests.
Beer is 95% water. And 40% of the world’s usable water comes from forests. Help protect beer’s main ingredient. Help us plant one billion trees!