Ask the Brewers!

Whether you call it the Great Lakes State or the Great Beer State, you can join these breweries in Michigan and say, “Cheers to OktoberForest!”  We asked the brewers: “What does the forest mean to you and your beer?

Dane Bosel from Dando Brewing Company, LLC (Distant Whistle Brewhouse)

”At the Distant Whistle Brewhouse, we understand the importance of forest preservation as well as forestry management. The water we use at our brewery in Vicksburg is drawn from natural wells, which, while higher in hard minerals, comes out clear and clean. This clarity comes from the filtration of water the rough the soil and root systems of the local flora, including many of our forested areas. Acts of deforestation or neglect can lead to erosion of the soil and root systems, therein degrading the quality of the water table and aquifers leading to the wells. Bad water equals bad beer, great water equals great beer! So, take a can or bottle of tour favorite brew out for a hike in the woods and realize it's all connected!”

Jessica Bridges from Dearborn Brewing

“Beer contains 85-90% water; the quality of that water used in the brewing process is critical to the quality of the end product. High quality agricultural products such as barley, wheat, oats and hops are also necessary for quality beer. Obviously, seasonal variations or difficulties due to climate change are of utmost importance to brewers. With a healthy environment, high quality water and ingredients may be sourced, in turn producing good beer. What we make is only as good as the ingredients that come from a healthy water and farm system.”

Jamie Kidwell-Brix from Earthen Ales

“We like to brew beer with a sense of place. In northern Michigan, we're fortunate to be surrounded by forest and fresh water. As former sustainability professionals, we know the importance of healthy forests in maintaining clean water and air. Without these ecosystems to produce high-quality ingredients (like Lake Michigan water!), we wouldn't be able to make our beer. Our northern Michigan forests inspired our Juniper Rye, an IPA that reminds us of the natural beauty that is all around us.”

Joe Walters from Liberty Street Brewing Company

“With both of our breweries right next to Rouge River and the parks that embank it, we get to enjoy wooded areas, and the numerous lakes that form from the river.  We are aware of how we use water in our process, and are always trying to conserve as much as we can.  My Grandfather started the Rescue the Rouge program back in the 70’s, so I was brought up respecting our resources.”

Dave Kepler from Midland Brewing

“Midland Brewing is located close to the Historic Red Keg Lumber Camp. While lumber is/was a big part of our state’s past, it’s really important to us that the FOREST will always be a part of Michigan future.”

Dana Mate Dones from Mitten Brewing Company

“The brewing industry as a whole has assumed the role as stewards of our community. As such we are responsible for the general health of our local forests and waters, and how we impact them. Not only are we constantly seeking ways to improve sustainability practices, but we communicate & collaborate within the industry in an effort to share successes. This year we have been focusing on reducing our water waste which is really about the impact of local water on our beer. Water is beer = beer is water. With that mentality everything else is pretty simple; keep the water/forests/environment clean so we can keep drinking good beer.”

T.J. Waldofsky from One Well Brewing:

“The forest means a lot to the culture at One Well. We have one side of our brewery tap room that we actually call "The Forest" because we have a mural of a forest on the wall by the taps and a full tree hanging over that bar! Outside of that, the forest represents life and growth and we place a lot of value in nature and our state's abundant natural resources.”

Tina Schuett from Rare Bird Brew

“Forests help create clean water and without clean water we wouldn't be able to make beer. So care for our forests so we can keep making great beer.”

Nate Muellenberg from Snowbelt Brewing Company:

“A healthy forest helps filter and regulate water into the watershed. 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% water, you want your main ingredient to be the best!”


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