PORTLAND, Maine — Two of Maine’s top craft brewers, Foundation Brewing and Orono Brewing, are collaborating on a special release of Earth Day-centered IPAs to benefit clean water efforts in Maine.
The beers will be released during an event at Portland’s Thirsty Pig from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 20 and proceeds will benefit two Maine clean water initiatives: The Maine Brewshed Alliance, a collaboration between Maine’s brewers and the Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) to protect clean water across the state; and Sebago Clean Waters (SCW), a grassroots group with the goal of conserving 35,000 acres over 15 years in the Sebago Lake watershed to protect water quality, community well-being, a vibrant economy, and the health of fish and wildlife.
Proceeds from Foundation’s “Pale Blue Dot” IPA will benefit Sebago Clean Waters, while Orono Brewing’s “Love Your Planet” IPA will benefit the Maine Brewshed Alliance.
“Our water is amazing, and it comes from Sebago Lake,” said John Bonney, co-owner of Foundation Brewing Company. “It is not only the most abundant and important ingredient in our beer, but the clean water of the lake is critical to the overall health of the greater Portland community. By partnering with Sebago Clean Waters, we in the brewing community hope to raise awareness of the importance of protecting our lakes, rivers, and streams. It is part of what makes Maine a special place.”
“As a brewery we rely on high-quality water to allow us to brew the best beer possible, and as Mainers we rely on the lakes, streams, and rivers as places to enjoy the great Maine outdoors. Our brewery is a stone’s throw from the Penobscot River, and we spend a lot of our free time canoeing along its banks,” said Abe Furth of Orono Brewing Company. “It’s a great feeling to be part of the Maine Brewshed Alliance and to know that we’re able to help protect the beloved Maine waterways that we rely on both for quality of life and for business.”
The Maine Brewshed Alliance launched in March 2019 when participating breweries, including Orono and Foundation, committed to educate people about the value of clean water and promote policy solutions to protect and enhance clean water across the state. Participating breweries are holding events and activities to highlight how critical clean water is to Maine’s economy and way of life.
“Pale Blue Dot and Love Your Planet highlight how important clean water is for making great beer,” said NRCM Outreach Coordinator Kristin Jackson, who manages the Maine Brewshed Alliance. “We want to thank Orono and Foundation for emphasizing that we should never take clean water for granted and that strong environmental protections go hand-in-hand with a strong economy.”
Sebago Lake provides clean drinking water for one in six Mainers — roughly 200,000 people — in the greater Portland area. Breweries with operations in the Portland region are able to take advantage of the lake’s water, which is so pure that it is one of only about fifty in the country that requires no filtration.
SCW, formed in 2017, works with partners to protect water quality in the Sebago Lake region by conserving forestland that is essential to ensuring clean water. Their partners include the Loon Echo Land Trust, Western Foothills Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, Portland Water District, Trust for Public Land, Highstead Foundation, Open Space Institute, Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, and Lakes Environmental Association, as well as a growing list of regional breweries and other businesses.
“We’re working to more than double the conserved forest in the Sebago region and that’s good for water, fish, jobs, recreation, wildlife, and beer, too,” said SCW coordinator Karen Young. “There’s such a direct connection between clean water and beer, which is 90% water. Foundation Brewing and Orono Brewing also see the importance of forests for clean water to the communities that we live in. We’re thrilled to have them as partners.”
The Pale Blue Dot IPA and Love Your Planet IPA will also be available for purchase at the breweries’ tasting rooms.
The Maine Brewshed® Alliance is a coalition of brewers and the Natural Resources Council of Maine, who are committed to protecting the waters that make our state a great place to live, work, brew, and enjoy great beer.