Good conversation over great beer leads to great land conservation

May 23, 2017
This week the Land Trust announced a major gift for The Campaign for Whychus Creek from Deschutes Brewery. But what you may not know is that the Land Trust was founded over beers at Deschutes Brewery way back in 1995.

by Brad Chalfant

This week the Land Trust announced a major gift for The Campaign for Whychus Creek from Deschutes Brewery. We are so grateful for the Brewery's commitment to the land and the Campaign for Whychus Creek. But we are even more grateful for their long-term partnership and their commitment to land conservation in Central Oregon.

What you may not know is that the Land Trust was founded over beers at Deschutes Brewery way back in 1995. Back then we were a small group of public employees with a weakness for good craft beer and a passion for the community. We loved this place in the high desert we called home and, of course, we were going to try and protect it. So, we came together to form a land trust--a local nonprofit dedicated to conserving land for wildlife and the local community.

Shortly thereafter, the opportunity arose to work with a private landowner in Sisters, and our little land trust found ourselves the recipient of our first property, the 63-acre Indian Ford Meadow Preserve. Today, the Land Trust has conserved more than 8,900 acres of Land in Central Oregon and we remain a dedicated partners with Deschutes Brewery. Over the years, we have hosted countless events at the Brewery, and they have donated beer and more to support our land conservation efforts.

We've also celebrated several beers brewed by Deschutes Brewery and connected to Land Trust conservation projects. The Chainbreaker White IPA is named for the annual mountain bike race in Skyline Forest--the 33,000 acre forest outside of Bend the Land Trust has been working to conserve for years. Sagefight Imperial IPA was first brewed using sage collected as part of a Beers Made by Walking tour at the Land Trust's Whychus Canyon Preserve. Finally the Down and Dirty IPA is in honor of the annual FootZone Dirty Half Trail Run which is an annual fundraiser for the Land Trust.

The Brewery (our backyard office) will always be a gathering place for the Land Trust to discuss conservation options and come up with plans for how we can conserve and protect the best of Central Oregon. We are the proud owners of a plaque on the wall in the Bend Pub that marks our founding and shares with others the story of land conservation and a local organization working to make our community better. This June, the Land Trust is the designated beneficiary of Deschutes Brewery's Community Pint Nights. For every beer sold, the Brewery will donate $1 to the Land Trust. We hope you'll come out to join us and raise a toast to a great local brewery that has done so much for land conservation over the years.

Thanks to Deschutes Brewery for choosing to support land conservation and the future of Central Oregon. Together we help make our community a wonderful place to live!