Clean Water. Great Beer.

Why Forests Matter to Colorado Brewers

Keith Villa of Blue Moon Brewery ©  Blue Moon

Keith Villa of Blue Moon Brewery © Blue Moon

Keith Villa, Blue Moon Brewing 

For Keith Villa, head brewmaster and founder of Blue Moon Brewing Company, protecting water sources is common sense. “Ninety-five percent of beer is water,” says Villa. “It’s an essential ingredient and must be pure to produce a high-quality beer for our customers.”

Villa has been brewing beer for more than 20 years since founding Blue Moon in 1995. The brewery is now part of the MillerCoors family but continues to operate in Denver and Golden, Colorado, so rivers such as the South Platte in Denver are of paramount importance.

“Taking care of our rivers has to be a priority,” says Villa. “We are happy to partner with The Nature Conservancy on their OktoberForest initiative to raise awareness of the importance of protecting forests and water sources. Many people don’t realize the critical role that trees play in filtering, cleaning and regulating the water that goes into our rivers.”

In fact, forests in Colorado do vital work in capturing snowmelt and filtering the water that enters our rivers, which one day becomes our favorite beer.

“It’s important to be as sustainable as possible,” adds Villa, noting that seven large MillerCoors breweries around the United States have achieved ‘certified landfill free’ status, and the brewery in Golden is one of the most water efficient breweries in the world.

“Protecting our natural resources is the right thing to do, not only for our products, but for future generations.”

Corey Odell of Odell Brewery ©   Odell Brewery

Corey Odell and the Odell Brewing facility © Odell Brewing

Corey Odell, Odell Brewery

"Odell Brewing is engaged in OktoberForest because we are passionate about our most valuable resource: water. As a brewery, water makes up approximately 95% of our finished product so without access to clean water, we have nothing to offer our consumers.  Fort Collins water comes directly from the Rocky Mountains through the Cache la Poudre River. Forest health and water quality were brought to focus in 2012, when the High Park Fire devoured a huge section of forest above our town followed by a 100-year flood event in 2013. This series of events inundated our City with ashy, muddy water for a long time after.  Ensuring the health of our forests is vital to both the quality of our beer as well as our mental well being. Add a beer to easy forest access and you've got yourself a great recipe for an adventure year round."

Oskar Blues Brewery ©   Oskar Blues Brewery

Oscar Blues brewery and brew pub. © Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post

Oskar Blues Brewery

"Founded 20 years ago in Lyons, Colorado, Oskar Blues Brewery launched the craft beer-in-a-can apocalypse with their hand-canned, flagship brew Dale's Pale Ale. Today, Oskar Blues is one of the fastest growing breweries in the country and operates breweries in Colorado, North Carolina and Texas.
In 2016 alone, Oskar Blues used 14,623,000 gallons of water at our Colorado facility. Beer is 95% water, so it’s key to have good, clean water to make delicious craft beer. Water quality and composition directly impacts the flavor and fermentability of the beer.
Aside from supporting healthy forests, which in turn protects and helps filter our water, Oskar Blues has always been an outdoor focused brewery. In fact, the reason we began canning beer originally was because it was portable and infinitely recyclable so we could take it with us while recreating in the outdoors. Pack it in, pack it out has always been part of our messaging, and we support a wide variety of sustainability initiatives nationally. We are thrilled to participate in The Nature Conservancy’s OktoberForest initiative to protect forests, water and our beer!"

Upslope Brewing ©   Upslope Brewing

The crew from Upslope Brewing. © Upslope Brewing

Upslope Brewing

"Founded in 2008 in Boulder, Colorado, Upslope Brewing Company's goal is simple: Make a better beer rooted in the outdoor lifestyle. We've canned our beers from the beginning because packability is key to the après lifestyle and allows for every adventure to be celebrated when it happens, where it happens. We believe our cans are a hand-held tribute to all who agree that playing hard should end with a quality beer that goes down easy. And last time we checked, when it comes to places to fish, hike or crack a craft beer, there is no planet B. So that's why, from the water and energy we use to the waste we make, Upslope does everything possible to leave a mark with our beer, not our footprint. And it's why supporting The Nature Conservancy's OktoberForest initiative was such a no-brainer for us."



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