OktoberForest Campaign Begins in New York!

Genesee Brewing Company, CB Craft Brewers and The Nature Conservancy Highlight Healthy Forests and Beer’s Main Ingredient—Water!

Rochester, NY | October 17, 2017

Earlier this month The Nature Conservancy, Genesee Brewing Company and CB Craft Brewers launched the month-long OktoberForest awareness campaign. The campaign is making beer fans aware of the critical link between the health of America’s forests and beer’s main ingredient—water.

The relevance of America’s forests to breweries is transparent: 95% percent of beer is water, and more than 50% of America’s water comes from our forests.

America’s forests improve water supplies for people by storing and filtering rain and snow. They do this in several ways: Forests help 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.

But America’s forests are increasingly threatened by severe fires, disease and pest damage. The U.S. Forest Service estimates that about half of its forested lands are in need of restoration to maintain natural benefits for people, water and wildlife. This is an area larger than Colorado.

“Water is the primary ingredient in beer. We are supporting OktoberForest because it’s essential to our business that we care for our water source and take steps to protect, restore and sustain it,” said Janine Schoos, Associate Brand Director, Genesee Family. “Recreational access to trails, rivers, lakes and ponds is also essential for a healthy lifestyle. We’re inspired to team up with The Nature Conservancy to help sustain nature for our employees, partners and many customers.”

“The beautiful, very well protected and maintained Hemlock Lake, located just 15 miles south of our brewery, is the source of water for our beer,” said Derek Armstrong, head brewer at CB Craft Brewers. “As a brewery, we work to make our business as sustainable as it can be, and teaming up with The Nature Conservancy on OktoberForest is a great way to celebrate forests and beer at the same time.”

“We are thrilled to partner with Genesee Brewing and CB Craft Brewers on the OktoberForest campaign,” said The Nature Conservancy’s Jim Howe, Central and Western New York Chapter Director. “The Nature Conservancy has been conserving and restoring America’s forests for more than 60 years—including local projects like helping to protect and connect
Hemlock and Canadice Lakes
and to restore the Honeoye inlet. We are excited to be raising awareness about the role forests play in conserving beer’s main ingredient.”

As 289 breweries in New York know, water is beer's main ingredient, and forests are remarkably efficient at filtering that water. In fact, there's a direct connection between forest health and water quality, whether that water is used for drinking or brewing beer. When our forests are threatened by disease, insects or wildfire, our water is at risk, too.

OktoberForest highlights the benefits of ensuring the health of our forests across the nation and right here in New York. The Nature Conservancy and partner brewers see the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act as one way to support the health of America's forests.

Recently introduced in the U.S. Senate, the bipartisan bill and its companion in the House seek to change how the federal government budgets for the suppression of large wildfires to make that process similar to the way other disasters are funded.

Even for states like New York that rarely suffer big wildfires, the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act would help ensure more money would be available for ensuring forests are healthy. That's good for people, water and wildlife.

You can participate in OktoberForest by visiting OktoberForest.org:

  1. Take the quiz—how much do you know about forests, water and beer?
  2. Check out the map— how healthy are the forests around your favorite brewery?
  3. Take action on the Wildfire Disaster Funding Act—a sensible approach to funding wildfire suppression and ensuring healthy forests.
  4. Post—your favorite forest and brewery photos Facebook and Twitter at #OktoberForest.


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

Kate Frazer
Communications Manager, Central & Western New York
(339) 222-2014