A Successful Campaign for Clean Water and Great Beer

Koosah Falls photo by Sung Choi

It’s a powerful thing when local businesses stand up for the environment, especially when they’re advocating for something as essential as water. 

Oregonians rank water as a top environmental priority, which makes sense; the tap water for two-thirds of Oregonians is sourced from our state’s lakes, rivers, and streams. Water is also the primary ingredient in craft beer, a product that continues to define Oregon culture and grow as an important sector of our economy. 

And yet water, that element we all require to live, thrive, and brew great beer, is all too often threatened. That’s why Oregon Wild and the Oregon Environmental Council teamed up for the first-ever Weekend for Water campaign in January 2016. We asked local breweries across the state to stand up for the water they need to brew great beer by raising money and awareness in a two-day event. 

Thanks to participation from twelve breweries across the state, Weekend for Water was a huge success. Ninkasi Brewing kicked off the campaign with a Thursday “Pints for a Cause” event on January 28th, and weekend-long participants included Laurelwood Brewing, Widmer Brothers Brewing, Uptown Market, Culmination Brewing, Cascade Brewing Barrel House, and Gigantic Brewing in the Portland area, Worthy Brewing in Bend, Oakshire Brewing in Eugene, Standing Stone Brewing in Ashland, Arch Rock Brewing in Gold Beach, and McMenamins at all of their Oregon locations.

In total, partner breweries raised $13,540! Oregon Brewshed® Alliance partner McMenamins also celebrated the 30th anniversary of their Hammerhead IPA that weekend, and supported Weekend for Water efforts with proceeds from that beer statewide, accounting for over $9,000 of funds raised! The contributions will be split evenly between Oregon Wild and the Oregon Environmental Council to support the efforts of both our organizations to protect water sources and water quality. 

The Weekend for Water campaign was also a huge success for education and outreach, helping craft beer lovers statewide understand the importance of water in brewing, and the efforts of Oregon Wild and OEC, including Oregon Wild’s Oregon Brewshed® Alliance initiative. 

We’re so grateful to all the breweries that participated in the first Weekend for Water, and we look forward to working with them in the future to keep Oregon wild and full of great beer!  

Cheers to all of our partners!