Colin Lenfesty, Founder and Head Brewer, Holy Mountain Brewing Company
As a brewer and an angler, I spend a lot of time thinking about water. What minerals can be added or reduced to support a perfect foundation for the hops of an IPA? I think about the source of the water (in our case, the Cedar River), and how it travelled to get to our brewery and helped to mash our malt, converting starches to fermentable sugars. How was the snowpack this year and how is it going to affect the amazing growers we work with for hops and malt? And with the water’s journey, I think about the fish. Are they thriving in their habitat and have everything they need to spawn? What secrets do those rivers and watersheds hold?
I’ve spent a fair amount of time exploring, wading and rowing the fabled rivers of the Olympic Peninsula and estuaries of the Puget Sound. This is my time to shut up, shut off. Fly fishing demands you to be present in your surroundings and connected to everything that is happening on the water and around you. To be a successful angler, you need to be able to read the water and the life around it.
In this state of awareness, I find inspiration for art and recipe design. There is a spirituality in all of it and something mystical that takes you to another place. That is something we try to convey in our offerings at Holy Mountain.
Holy Mountain joined Washington Wild’s Brewshed® Alliance in 2020 because it’s important for us to keep this beautiful balance of our watersheds and ecosystems intact. As a brewer in Washington, I’m extremely grateful to have access to arguably the best water in the world for brewing, which at the same time is irrigating some of the best hop fields in the world. As an angler, that water provides a sanctuary for me and forms a connection between making beer and fishing.