|It's the water, stoopid.|
"What makes Portland beer so gosh darn AWESOME, Mr. Wolf?" I swear, I hear that question all the time, and do you know what my answer is? Do ya? Well, besides having some of the most innovative, creative and talented brewers in the world, Portland also has the WATER! IT'S THE WATER!
Portland water comes straight out of the Bull Run Watershed about 30 miles east of the city. Unlike many other large cities, Portland's water is delicious right out of the tap. It doesn't have to be filtered or flavored or fiddled with. You don't have to hold your nose when you take a sip. Bottled water is an unnecessary--and dare I say WASTEFUL--luxury in Portland, Oregon.
Just ask any local brewer and he or she will tell you how much they appreciate the fantastic water they get to brew with here. Sure, we pay a premium for water that tastes this good, but it's worth it. (Check back with me when my next water bill arrives.)
The symbiotic relationship between watershed and brewer was very much discussed and recognized at a recent river clean up event I attended on September 7th. Portland Brewing Company co-hosted the clean up, along with the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council. I was very happy to receive an invitation and to offer my trash picking services for a couple of hours. Trust me, I was amply rewarded with mass quantities of beer.
|Portland Brewing donated a month of profits from Zig-Zag Lager|
to the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council, a non-profit
dedicated to habitat restoration and preservation of the Sandy
River and it's tributaries.
|Friendly rangers met us at Dabney State Recreation Area,|
near the banks of the Sandy River, and provided clean up
equipment and guidance for our trash collection efforts.
|Will work for beer!|
|We collected a lot of trash, but I found the area to be surprisingly |
clean. The worst thing? Cigarette butts everywhere! Come
on smokers! Clean up your butts!
|I'm a mean man with a trash picker upper stick!|
(That's what they're called. Google it.)
|Portland Brewing provided appropriate refreshments.|
|After party refreshments (beer!) and dinner at|
nearby Shirley's Tippy Canoe. Awesome!
I absolutely plan to donate more of my time to clean up events and other efforts of the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council. They are doing good work that benefits everybody in Oregon--especially those who appreciate pristine, natural rivers and wild habitats. Check out their website and see if there's a volunteer opportunity for you!
Oh, and while you're at it, visit Portland Brewing Company's brewery and taproom at 2730 NW 31st Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97210. They deserve some props for supporting such a great organization--and the natural beauty and clean water of Oregon!