If you like beer, you should love forests.
OktoberForest If you like beer, you should love forests. © iStock.com/isuaneye

Newsroom

OktoberForest: Celebrating Healthy Forests and Clean Water for Beer

The Nature Conservancy and brewers across the country partner together for healthy forests and beer’s main ingredient—water!

The Nature Conservancy and more than 100 breweries across the nation this October are celebrating the critical link between healthy forests and beer’s main ingredient: water.

OktoberForest is a campaign to raise awareness for the role healthy forests play in filtering water, beer’s top ingredient. This is the third year of The Nature Conservancy’s OktoberForest campaign, with breweries in more than half of U.S. states participating.

In more than 30 states this October, The Nature Conservancy is partnering with breweries by holding forest-themed “tree-via” nights, providing informative coasters and cheering the roles of healthy forests and clean water and the need to restore millions of acres of America’s forests. See the map and full list of breweries at www.OktoberForest.org.

The relevance of America’s forests to breweries is clear: 95 percent of beer is water, and more than half of America’s water comes from our forests. America’s forests improve water supplies in many ways. Forests shade streams, lakes, and snow from evaporation; the forest floor helps filter sediment; and tree roots hold soil together so it can store water like a sponge.

Recently forests have become threatened by more severe fires, drought, and increased pest damage. The U.S. Forest Service estimates that about half of its forested lands are in need of restoration in order to maintain natural benefits for people, water, and wildlife. 

“A healthy forest helps filter and regulate water into the watershed,” said Nate Muellenberg of Snowbelt Brewing in Gaylord, Michigan. “Our local water comes from a well, surrounded by forests, and it’s simple: A healthy forest equals better water quality for our beer. With beer being up to 95 percent water, you want your main ingredient to be the best!”

“As a longtime homebrewer myself, I’m thrilled The Nature Conservancy is partnering with breweries on the OktoberForest campaign,” said Chris Topik, director of The Nature Conservancy’s Restoring America’s Forests program. “The Nature Conservancy has been working to conserve and restore America’s forests for more than 60 years. It is really satisfying to witness how many breweries around the country pitching in to help conserve beer’s main ingredient, water, and the forests that provide it.”

Breweries are participating by:

  1. Hosting OktoberForest tree-via nights and other informational events;
  2. Sharing educational coasters, posters, and table toppers;
  3. Promoting OktoberForest through social media;
  4. Offering donations to help forest and water conservation efforts in each brewery’s home state. 

You can participate in OktoberForest by visiting www.OktoberForest.org:

  1. Text “TREES” to 50555 to donate $5 for the Conservancy’s forest and water conservation efforts in your state.
  2. Watch—view a one-minute video highlighting the connections between healthy forests, water, and beer. 
  3. Post—your favorite forest and brewery photos to Twitter and Facebook at #OktoberForest
  4. Talk to your favorite brewer about the importance of forests for beer’s main ingredient, and ask them to participate in OktoberForest.

Five Forest Facts:

  • The United States is home to the world’s oldest, tallest, and most massive trees.
  • America’s forests generate more than $13 billion in income for businesses and communities. 
  • Our forests provide 1 million square miles of outdoor recreation space for families, campers, hikers, backpackers, hunters, and anglers. 
  • The nation’s 10 worst fire years have all come since 2000 (cumulative records starting in 1960).  2015 year was our worst fire year with more than 10 million acres burned; 2017 was our most expensive firefighting year. 
  • Non-native pests have killed more than 150 million trees since 1990.  

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.