Rich Buddington, Cam Bell and Chris Burcher of Wolf Hills Brewing Co., Abingdon, VA

The Nature Conservancy is celebrating fall with OktoberForest, a collaboration with local breweries to raise awareness about the importance of forests in providing clean water. We spoke with Rich Buddington, Cam Bell and Chris Burcher — owners of Wolf Hills Brewing Co. — about nature’s role in the brewing and enjoyment of craft beer.

Visit nature.org/OktoberForest to learn more about the connection between healthy forests and clean water, and see the list of participating OktoberForest breweries across the country!


What is the source of water for Wolf Hills beer?

Chris Burcher:

An artesian well in Taylor’s Valley.


Do you see benefits to protecting and restoring forests on lands which surround the source waters for your beer?

Chris Burcher:

Absolutely. Forests provide and sustain the natural purifying processes that allow water to be filtered mechanically and biologically by soils and pick up the local constituents that give it a unique chemical signature.


Anything else you’d like to say about the connections between healthy forests-clean water and tasty beer?

Chris Burcher:

Brewing begins with water. Water is one of the four main ingredients in beer and is unique to each brewing location. We have excellent clean water (and it’s plentiful in our area) that provides an outstanding backbone upon which to build our beers.


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