We brew this beer with maris otter malt and certified “salmon safe” hops for a warm salmon-egg red color and a toasty malt forward flavor. It is the perfect beer to drink on a foggy fall day on the Oregon Coast. What exactly does “salmon safe” mean? Well, Oregon happens to be one of the largest producers of hops in the entire country. And it is home to a variety of salmon species. Many hop growers in the state aren’t practicing salmon-safe hop production techniques, and their fertilizers and other agricultural wastes get washed into nearby streams and rivers, polluting native salmon habitat. When using salmon-safe hops, we are ensuring that the beer we brew isn’t contributing to pollution and destruction of the waterways that are essential to our salmon populations.
To further our mission with this beer, we also donate some of the proceeds from this beer to two local organizations that work to improve salmon habitat in our area, the Coos and Coquille Watershed Associations. These organizations work locally to support the ecological health of the Coos and Coquille Basins. They partner with a diverse array of stakeholders who all believe that together we can accomplish important work to recover salmon populations, restore native plant communities, support our local natural resource economies and engage the community in stewardship opportunities. The organizations work with the local community and landowners to develop and implement ecological restoration projects that restore habitats and improve water quality, often on working forests and ranches. Additionally, they monitor current conditions and conduct research to better understand the effectiveness of ongoing restoration activities in the watersheds. If you’d like to learn more about these two incredible organizations and/or contribute a personal donation, visit their websites! https://cooswatershed.org/ and https://www.coquillewatershed.org/
Now, as promised above, I’m going to explain exactly what a “redd” is. When a female salmon is ready to deposit her eggs, she must first build a nest (known as a “redd”) so that the current of the river doesn’t wash her eggs away. She does this by swimming down to the bottom of the stream and moving her body swiftly upwards, pulling bits of gravel up with her and allowing the current to wash them downstream. Typically, they build several redds, usually one just a few feet upstream from the last. This way, as she builds more, the gravel that is dug up from the newest redd will land on the eggs deposited in the one directly downstream, covering them up and protecting them from predators and other environmental risks.
Have you had a chance to try this delicious beer yet? If so, leave us a comment below and let us know what you think.