Stories in Oklahoma

OktoberForest in Oklahoma

Healthy Forests + Clean Water = Great Beer

This October ,The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is celebrating OktoberForest, highlighting the important connection between healthy forests, clean water and great beer. Across the globe, TNC is partnering with more than 150 breweries that understand the critical role that forests play in providing clean water, not only for their business, but also for life itself.

To explore the connection here in Oklahoma, we sat down with COOP Ale Works and Stonecloud Brewing in Oklahoma City and Heirloom Rustic Ales in Tulsa. 

COOP Ale Works

nature.org:
How does water impact your beer?

COOP Ale Works:
The flavor of the water has direct impact on the flavor of the beer. If the water doesn’t taste good, neither will our products. We are lucky in OKC to have some of the best tasting water in the country. However, there is some variability in mineral content, so we analyze our incoming supply weekly and adjust brewing water so that our beers can stay as consistent as possible.

nature.org:
What do you think Oklahomans know about the connection of forests to water to beer?

COOP:
To be honest, not much. When we think about most of the water supply being from man-made municipal sources, the thought of forests is rarely in the equation.

nature.org:
What is your favorite outdoor activity?

COOP:
It starts with biking, sometimes to work (an easy 10 miles) and sometimes 100 miles around Tulsa for their annual Tulsa Tough Race. Add in a few half marathons and a rock climber or two and you have our entire COOP staff described. For living in the "flat state" we've found ways to climb, bike, hike and everything in between. 

Heirloom Rustic Ales

nature.org:
How does water impact your beer?

Jake Miller, Owner/Brewer Heirloom Rustic Ales:
Water impacts beer more than any other single element. Whether or not your water is hard or soft largely is responsible for the taste and feel of your finished beer and influences what styles you brew. Especially if you don’t treat your water like us.

nature.org:
What do you think Oklahomans know about the connection of forests to water to beer?

Jake:
I think Oklahomans generally know that water is a main ingredient in the production of beer, but would be shocked by the amount used at most breweries on a daily basis. There also seems to be a general lack of understanding about where water comes from and the current threats to those water supplies.

nature.org:
What is your favorite outdoor activity?

Jake:
Fly fishing!

nature.org:
What is your favorite beer?

Jake:
Favorite beer is a tough question. I tend to drink a lot of Pacificos on the water and I'm always on the lookout for good, fresh lager.

Stonecloud Brewing Co. 

Stonecloud Brewing Co.
Stonecloud Brewing logo Stonecloud Brewing Co. © Stonecloud Brewing Co.

nature.org:
How does water impact your beer?

Stonecloud Brewing Co.: 
Water is extremely crucial to our beer as it makes up to 95% of the liquid that you are drinking when you have a beer. Water quality is critical. We can not make great beer without quality water.

nature.org:
What do you think Oklahomans know about the connection of forests to water to beer?

Stonecloud:
Oklahoma is a little behind when it comes to environmental issues that concern forests and water preservation.

nature.org:
What is your favorite outdoor activity?

Stonecloud:
Climbing

Love beer? Love forests! If you love beer, you should love forests. Forests provide 40% of the world’s usable water, beer’s main ingredient. Through OktoberForest, we’re working with breweries across the globe to celebrate clean water, great beer and the forests that make it all possible.

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!