The Oregon Brewshed® Alliance: 2015 Beer in Review

McKenzie River (photo by Tim Giraudier).

The Oregon Brewshed® Alliance Initiative

The Concept

The Oregon Brewshed® Alliance is an outreach and education initiative of Oregon Wild. It is a coalition of conservationists and the craft brewing community formed under a simple but important principle: great beer begins with clean water.

Beer is over 90% water after all, and that water is a product of the land it flows through. Our cleanest, best-tasting water flows through pristine, protected public forestlands, so to keep Oregon full of great water and great beer, Oregon brewers, breweries, and others in the brewing community have stepped up and joined the Oregon Brewshed® Alliance in support of Oregon Wild's work to protect forest watersheds. In doing so, these partners have distinguished themselves in the craft brewing industry as leaders in sustainability and conservation, and together we work to educate the public about the forest-water-beer connection and work to protect Oregon craft beer from source to pint. 

The History

For Oregon Wild, the Brewshed® Alliance concept was born back in 2009 when after decades of work to protect the forestlands around the Bull Run watershed, we teamed up with Widmer Brothers Brewing to ensure Portland's drinking water source remained natural and pristine. This partnership sparked plans for a larger initiative since Oregon's thriving craft brewing scene is intimately connected with our public wildlands. 

In 2014, the same year our neighbors at Washington Wild launched their Washington Wild Brewshed® Alliance, Oregon Wild's took shape and with some guidance from our friends up north, our Brewshed® Alliance officially launched in 2015!


2015 Accomplishments

We launched the Oregon Brewshed® Alliance in April 2015 with 8 charter members from the brewing community and since then we've grown to 19 brewery and brewing community partners in under a year!

In addition, 12 events were hosted with Alliance partners, including pint nights, happy hours, special brews, and watershed hikes, and 9 other events were supported by Alliance partners with donations and/or Alliance outreach and education.

Through these events and direct partner support, over $9,000 was raised for the Oregon Brewshed® Alliance and conservation efforts!


What's On Tap in 2016

There's a lot in store as we head towards year two for the Oregon Brewshed® Alliance:

  • Thanks to the generous support of charter member Widmer Brothers Brewing, the Alliance will have its own official website to showcase the initiative, the Brewshed® partners, and all upcoming Alliance events! Visit oregonbrewshedalliance.org in the coming months to check it out.
     
  • We're also excited to announce that our first annual Oregon Brewshed® Brewfest will happen May 18th, 2016 at McMenamins Kennedy School! Mark your calendars and stay tuned as we announce more details.
     
  • January and February 2016 are big months for Alliance events as well. We hope you can join us for some or all of the following:
     
    • Weekend for WaterJanuary 28th, 30th-31st - Oregon Wild/Oregon Brewshed® Alliance and the Oregon Environmental Council have teamed up with craft breweries across Oregon for a weekend-long fundraising campaign for water quality and conservation! The best part? Drink delicious, local craft beer near you to participate. More information here.
       
    • Base Camp Brewing's Collabofest 2016January 30th - Saturday is a double dose of craft brewing and fundraising goodness with Base Camp's second annual Collabofest event. 16 breweries have teamed up in pairs to create amazing small batch brews you won't find anywhere else! This block party will also feature games (including human foosball), food, and info about the benefiting organizations: Oregon Wild/Oregon Brewshed® Alliance and the Oregon Natural Desert Association. Buy tickets here!
       
    • GoodLife Brewing Brewshed® Session Ale Release PartiesFebruary 3rd-4th - Our Brewshed® Partners at GoodLife Brewing in Bend have created a special seasonal beer to celebrate and support the watersheds that make it possible! GoodLife Brewing Company will be donating 1% of all sales from their new Brewshed® Session Ale to the Brewshed® Alliance, to be split between the Oregon and Washington state initiatives to keep Oregon and Washington wild and full of great beer! Join us for the release party in Portland on February 3rd or in Bend or Eugene on February 4th.
       
    • KLCC Microbrew FestivalFebruary 12-13th - If you're in the Eugene area on these dates, swing by the KLCC Microbrew Festival at Lane Events Center. Oregon Brewshed® Alliance is a sponsor and Oregon Wild staff and volunteers will be there to talk about the importance of watershed protection for all the great beer at the fest. 
       
    • Willamette Week's Oregon Beer AwardsFebruary 23rd - An event selecting and honoring Oregon's top beers, breweries, bars, and festivals, the gala celebration and awards ceremony will be at Revolution Hall. Willamette Week has selected Oregon Wild as the event partner, and ticket sales will benefit the work of the Oregon Brewshed® Alliance! Find out more here and look for ticket sales opening after January 20th.
       
    • Stay tuned to the Oregon Wild and Oregon Brewshed® Alliance websites and Facebook pages for upcoming 2016 events including happy hours, hikes, and special beer releases. 

Thank You

The Oregon Brewshed® Alliance has quickly grown as an initiative for clean water and as a model for bringing together non-traditional allies to protect wildlands and wild watersheds. Our landscape has long defined Oregon and the values of Oregonians, emphasizing our love of outdoor recreation, native fish and wildlife, exceptional water and the craft beverages that stand apart nationwide as a result. All Oregonians, urban and rural residents alike, are intimately connected to our wildlands, which is why it is so essential that we stand together to protect them.

Thank you to all of our Brewshed® partners, especially our charter members who helped us launch this initiative and make it a reality including Widmer Brothers, Migration Brewing, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Claim 52 Brewing, Elk Horn Brewery, GoodLife Brewing, and Fort George Brewery. And thank you to all the members of the public who supported and continue to support the Alliance and all its partners as we work even harder to keep Oregon wild and full of great beer.

Cheers! 

Photo Credits: 
McKenzie River photo by Tim Giraudier. Eagle Creek photo by Jamey Pyles. Salmon River Brewshed® Hike via @hopworksbeer on Instagram. Microbrews photo by Marielle Cowdin.