Michigan Breweries Say Cheers to The Nature Conservancy’s OktoberForest

Lansing, Michigan | October 11, 2017

More than 20 breweries from the Upper Peninsula to Detroit have joined The Nature Conservancy’s OktoberForest campaign to raise awareness about the importance of forests to freshwater.

The second annual month-long campaign is aimed at making beer fans aware of the critical link between the health of America’s forests and beer’s main ingredient—water. Michigan leads the country with the most breweries participating with 21 out of 81 nationwide.

“I’ve tasted beer from all over the world, and nothing beats Michigan beer,” said Dr. Scott Sowa, the Conservancy’s director of science for Michigan and leading staff beer connoisseur. “Michigan is not only the Great Lakes State, but also the Great Beer State, and that’s because of our woods and waters.”

America’s forests help improve water supplies in a number of ways. Forests shade streams, lakes and snow from evaporation; the forest floor helps filter sediment; and tree roots help hold soil together so it can store water like a sponge.

When Bernard Stroh started his first brewery in Detroit in 1850, he built it there because of the water, according to the book Beer Money. Today, more than 244 breweries turn Great Lakes freshwater into some of the best award-winning beer in the world. More than half of Michigan is forested with 19.3 million acres of deciduous hardwood and boreal forests.

Together, forests and clean freshwater provide the foundation for delicious beer,” Sowa said.

Coasters about OktoberForest can be found at these participating breweries:

  • Batch Brewing Company (Detroit)
  • B. Nektar (Ferndale)
  • Brew Detroit (Detroit)
  • Dearborn Brewing (Dearborn)
  • Distant Whistle Brewhouse (Vicksburg)
  • Earthen Ales (Traverse City)
  • Ellison Brewing + Spirits (East Lansing)
  • Harmony Brewing Company (Grand Rapids)
  • Latitude 42 (Kalamazoo)
  • Liberty Street Brewing Company (Plymouth)
  • Midland Brewing (Midland)
  • Mitten Brewing Company (Grand Rapids)
  • One Well Brewing (Kalamazoo)
  • Paddle Hard Brewing (Grayling)
  • Pigeon Hill Brewing Company (Muskegon)
  • Rare Bird Brew (Traverse City)
  • River's Edge Brewing Company (Milford)
  • Short’s Pub (Bellaire)
  • Snowbelt Brewing Company (Gaylord)
  • Third Monk Brewing Company (South Lyon)
  • Tri City Brewing (Bay City)

Short’s Brewing Company Director of Quality Tyler Glaze happily joined the campaign and said that while not a lot of people think about how forests impact beer, the connection is critical to creating high-quality beer.

“Water is a critical ingredient in beer production. Without quality water, our beer will not taste great, guaranteed,” Glaze said. “I'm all about reforestation. Put those trees back in the ground where they belong! A lot of cool and tasty critters hang out in forests. Protecting and conserving forests is very important to me.”

For more information about OktoberForest, visit oktoberforest.org.

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.

Contact information

Melissa Molenda
The Nature Conservancy
(517) 230-0818


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