by Laura Buckmaster, Washington Wild Program Manager
The Washington Wild Brewshed Alliance is thrilled to participate in Skagit Farm to Pint Fest 2020! Since 2013, the Brewshed Alliance has engaged the brewing industry in raising awareness and support for watershed protection. We currently have over 60 partners including breweries, brewpubs, cideries, maltsters and hop growers from all over Washington State. The Brewshed Connection is simple: great beer begins with clean water! Wild, forested watersheds provide a natural filter that maintains high-quality water- water that makes tasty downstream beer.
Skagit Valley Malting is the most recent member of the Brewshed Alliance and they are excited to partner with Washington Wild on charity beer collaborations, events, and conservation initiatives. Skagit Valley Malting’s current malting process uses approximately ⅓ of the water than that of traditional malting processes. Colin Griffith, Skagit Valley Malting’s Sustainability Specialist and a Washington Wild Brewshed Ambassador, is working on several projects that upcycle the by-product of the malting process in ways that promote their sustainable ideals. Skagit Valley Malting believes that transparency in the malting process helps consumers travel “upstream” from their favorite craft beers!
Chuckanut Brewery has been a Brewshed Alliance member for three years and has signed onto several conservation comment letters and been a strong supporter of our work. Most recently, a coalition of breweries across Washington state joined together to stand up for healthy watersheds after the USFS announced they are moving forward with a controversial proposal to eliminate longstanding protections for old-growth forests in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. A letter signed by 39 brewing industry businesses including Chuckanut Brewery, Farmstrong Brewing Co., and La Conner Brewing Co., stood up for protecting national forests as sources for clean water.
Washington Wild is especially excited to participate in the Skagit Farm to Pint Fest as we have a strong history of advocating for the protection of the Skagit River headwaters. We celebrated a recent victory on halted logging plans and continue to oppose a proposed mining permit in the headwaters. The Skagit is home to Puget Sound’s healthiest remaining runs of wild salmon and steelhead and provides drinking water, a thriving agricultural industry, and ultimately delicious craft beer.
As the Brewshed Alliance welcomes new partners such as Skagit Valley Malting and Yakima Chief Hops, we believe that expanding our conservation conversations to “Farm to Pint” is critical. We look forward to seeing folks at the Skagit Farm to Pint Fest and raising a glass to clean water and great beer!