More than 50 Oregon breweries sign Oregon Wildlands Act

More than 50 Oregon breweries sign Oregon Wildlands Act

EUGENE, Ore. - More than 50 Oregon breweries have signed a letter of support for protecting our state’s waters. They say the natural simplicity of Oregon beer could be at stake.

Jamie Floyd is the co-founder of Ninkasi Brewing Company in Eugene.

“We live in a really special place,” he says.

He opened his brewery in the Willamette Valley because of the cleanliness of the McKenzie River.

‘We have some of the best drinking water,” he says. “The only adjustments we do to our water is to, sort of specifically work for flavor.”

That’s why he and more than 50 other Oregon breweries have signed their support for the Oregon Wildlands Act, which would designate more than 200,000 acres of land as wilderness or recreation areas, including the Rogue and Molalla Rivers and Devil’s Staircase.

“If we don't continue to solidify and worry about erosion in rivers, and what goes in and out of the rivers and stuff like that that we're gonna be like other parts of the United States where we have to either purify our waters ahead of time or actually get water from elsewhere,” Floyd says.

According to the Oregon Brewers Guild, the brewing industry has contributed nearly $4.5 billion to our state’s economy, employing more than 30,000 people.

Floyd says Oregon beer is special because of the natural water compared to brewer friends in other states.

“They actually have to reverse osmosis their water, remove everything from it, and then add minerals back,” he says.

Taking away what he calls the beauty of Oregon.

“Beer is incredibly important to us, but it's also what sustained us,” Floyd says. “We’re mostly water; it's the one thing that, you know, it's in all of beer it's in all of us.”

Leaving brewers hopeful for a cleaner future.

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