Stories in New Mexico

Second Street Brewery Believes in Community Conservation

Second Street's special beer can raises awareness of OktoberForest and the Rio Grande.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
Second Street Brewery Santa Fe, New Mexico

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 Mariah Scee, creative director for Second Street Brewery in Santa Fe.

Why is your brewery participating in OktoberForest this year?

Mariah Scee:

Without water there is no beer! We are excited to work with The Nature Conservancy to bring awareness to the health of the water in our community and in New Mexico.

What do you think people know about the connection of forests to water to beer?


Many people don’t consider the importance of forests on our watershed and the water in our community. We hope that with this project our customers and the community can learn more about the connection water has to the beer in their hands.

How does water impact your beer?


Breweries are deeply connected to the local water. We brew with water from our Santa Fe city water supply, and beyond removing chlorine and adjusting PH when needed, we do not alter our water. So, the health of the local water, and additionally the availability of water at all in this desert landscape, is incredibly important to the beer we brew.

What does the Rio Grande mean to you and your community?


Our community is lucky enough to experience our watershed on a daily basis. We walk, hike and ski in the forests surrounding Santa Fe, we raft, camp and hike along the Rio Grande. We can actually see the impact of drought or a good water year, just by looking at the water levels in river. The Rio Grande is an artery of life for New Mexico, without it our vibrant communities or agriculture would not be possible.

The design for our Oktoberforest can is a nod to the central role the Rio Grande plays in our lives. Our Creative Director chose to portray a landscape along the river near the Buckman Direct Diversion, which diverts surface water from the Rio Grande to provide a reliable and sustainable source of drinking water for the City of Santa Fe and Santa Fe County. Diverting water from the Rio Grande allows us to preserve our aquifer and reduce unsustainable groundwater pumping. That same area is also public land where we hike, climb, and often just sit by the river with a beer.

How is this issue personal to you?


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.

OktoberForest If you love beer, you gotta love forests.

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!