OktoberForest

Nate Winters, Väsen Brewing Company, Richmond, VA

The Nature Conservancy is celebrating fall with OktoberForest, a collaboration with local brewers to raise awareness about the importance of forests in providing clean water. We spoke with environmental program director Nate Winters from Vasen Brewing Company, about nature’s role in the making 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!

nature.org:

What’s the origin and meaning behind the name Väsen?

Nate Winters:

Väsen is a Scandinavian term that means “inner essence” or can translate to “animal spirit”. Our heritage is Swedish-Norwegian so we use that as a means of branding.

nature.org:

How has nature inspired you in the planning, building, brewing, and opening process of Väsen?

Nate Winters:

Nature was the main contributing factor to our taproom design and that is made apparent by our boulder that separates the taproom space and the abundant amount of reclaimed wood used in the process. We took a minimalist approach to the design and made sure to consider environmental factors when moving forward with materials.

nature.org:

What important connections do you see between healthy forests, clean water, and good beer?

Nate Winters:

Considering beer is nearly 90% water on average we spend a lot of time making sure the quality of the water is top notch. The outdoors has provided us a release from work stress and the inspiration to create new styles of beer and new ways to brew. If not for a healthy ecosystem the foundation and future of our brewery would not exist. Plenty of work to be done however.

nature.org:

How, specifically, is Väsen working to be sustainable and environmentally friendly?

Nate Winters:

We are working toward being a zero waste designation brewery by recycling our spent grain to local farmers, focusing on water efficiencies (flow meters for example) and eventually the recapturing of CO2 from our fermentation process.

Water is the main waste product and we are working on our water to beer ratios (still collecting data) and using wastewater as a means for the city to extract nitrogen from the wastewater treatment center (in the works).

nature.org:

Tell us more about the Environmental Program.  What are your goals for this program?

Nate Winters:

The purpose of the program is to act as an incubator for our own technological advancements and then apply them to other breweries in our industry. Brewhouse efficiencies and supply chain management applications are on the horizon.


GET TEXT UPDATES*