The Brewshed® Connection is simple: protected wild lands and waters lead to superior downstream beer. Here’s how:
“Water makes up the vast majority of the finished product making it absolutely critical. Historically, beer and breweries have been defined in a large part by their local water and what it contributes to the final beer.”– James Goodman, Head Brewer at Elliott Bay Brewing Company
- Intact forest ecosystems provide a natural filter that maintains high quality water, at the headwaters and as that water flows downstream. Preserving mature vegetation along a river bank helps to prevent erosion, sedimentation, and other issues that can dramatically decrease water quality.
- As the river weaves its way through a landscape, it absorbs natural minerals which contribute to the taste of the beer. As a result, different geographic areas have distinct water compositions leading to unique regional flavors of beer.
- Water also collects pollutants produced by human activities, such as chemical, industrial, and agricultural runoff. Contaminants must be removed or treated by the brewer or municipality to make the water safe for consumption before the water can be used to brew.
- If treated by a municipality, contaminated water requires increased amounts of disinfectants, which are very difficult for brewers to remove. Even in small amounts, disinfectants such as chlorine and chloramine can negatively impact the flavor of beer.
- Protecting rivers and the surrounding landscapes protects the integrity and quality of beer. By protecting the source, we help protect the final pint, because protected water makes superior beer.
“Nobody knows better than a brewer the value of good water.”
– Kendall Jones, Washington Beer Blog
Breweries Advocating for a Wild Washington — The Brewshed® Connection in Action.
Icicle Brewing in Leavenworth — the charming Bavarian-styled village in the Cascade Mountains — takes its name from its water source, the pristine Icicle Creek. Icicle Creek is protected by The Alpine Lakes Wilderness. When Washington Wild was leading a coalition to permanently protect over 22,000 acres as Wilderness next to the existing Alpine Lakes Wilderness area, Icicle Brewing Company’s owner Pamela Brulotte became one of the strongest supporters. In 2014, Washington Wild, Icicle Brewing, and hundreds of supporters celebrated the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Additions.