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 co-owner and operations manager Matthew Klus from Woodstock Brewhouse about nature’s role in the making and enjoyment of craft beer.
Woodstock Brewhouse is located in the Shenandoah Valley, less than a mile from the Shenandoah River. They use the municipal water supply of the Town of Woodstock, which draws its drinking water from the river.
“We filter and test our water prior to every brew to ensure it is at its purest state,” says Klus. “The Shenandoah River borders National forest lands in many places. We realize that forests’ natural filtration provides us with high quality water from the source. The healthier the forests, the better the water quality; good, clean water produces better beer, it's that simple.”
Klus says they strive to be an environmentally friendly and sustainable brewery by capturing any water through the cooling cycle of the brew and re-using that water for cleaning after the brewing process. They also reuse spent grains to local farmers for cattle feed. Additionally, they partner with a local chestnut conservationist to brew a dark, hearty chestnut ale every fall as the chestnuts begin to produce their nuts.
“Good, clean water is essential to crafting good beer,” says Klus. “The Woodstock Brewhouse is excited to partner with fellow breweries across the country to celebrate The Nature Conservancy's Oktoberforest.”
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!