Guest tap: Allagash Brewing Company on protecting Portland’s clean water
If you’ve ever tasted an Allagash beer, you’ve tasted the benefits of protecting forests around Sebago Lake. The water we use at our brewery in Portland, Maine, comes straight from this beautiful lake, the source of drinking water for about one-sixth of Maine’s population. Sebago Lake is one of only 50 public surface water supplies in the entire country that doesn’t require filtration before treatment. That’s because healthy forests surround the lake, naturally filtering the water.
But today, according to the U.S. Forest Service, Sebago Lake is one of the most threatened watersheds in the nation: only ten percent of the land surrounding it is protected from development. Meanwhile the real estate market along the lake’s scenic shores is booming. Denser development introduces more sources of pollution, as the forested lands that naturally keep our water clean are disappearing.
We can’t make great beer without clean water from Sebago Lake. That’s one reason we’re excited to partner with The Trust for Public Land and Loon Echo Land Trust to create the Tiger Hill Community Forest, protecting nearly 1,500 acres of natural land in the town of Sebago on the lake’s northwest shore and opening it to the public to explore.
But the importance of Sebago Lake goes far beyond brewing. The Tiger Hill Community Forest also protects 330 acres of wetlands, rivers, and brooks that are home to eastern brook trout, landlocked salmon, a smelt-spawning run, wading birds, and waterfowl. The forest also connects residents and visitors with the land, creating opportunities for outdoor recreation, boosting the local economy, and benefiting the health of the Sebago community.
In 2019, we pledged to donate ten cents from every barrel of beer we brew to sebagocleanwaters.org to help preserve clean water in our local community, so every Allagash beer you drink contributes to conserving Maine’s natural resources. Cheers!
Rob Tod is the founder of Allagash Brewing Company.
The Trust for Public Land and Loon Echo Land Trust are members of the Sebago Clean Waters coalition, a group committed to keeping Maine’s largest drinking water supply clean.
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