The Student News Site of Ithaca College

Ithaca Week

Ithaca Week

Ithaca Week

Keeping Environmentalism on Tap

Outside the Lucky Hare Brewery Taphouse in Hector, NY. Source: Connor Ahern/Ithaca Week
The Finger Lakes are massive sources of freshwater for the towns and cities throughout the region. Households and businesses alike have a need for the resources that come from it. Brewing beer is no exception to this, so when the Seneca Lake Pure Waters Association (SLPWA) reached out to Lucky Hare Brewing Company for a collaboration, Luck Hare knew it would be the perfect way to give back to its local community and environment.

A Product of the Local Community

The tap at Lucky Hare Brewery. Source: Connor Ahern/Ithaca Week

Pure Harvest is the name of the fresh hop ale that Lucky Hare released on Oct. 12. Lucky Hare Brewing held an event to celebrate the beer’s release with the local community. Ian Conboy, Vice President of Lucky Hare Brewing Company, said that the brewery is no stranger to working with other breweries and doing contract brewing to assist smaller breweries.

“One thing we do a lot is collaborate,” Conboy said. “Whether it’s with beer, organizations, food, or whatever. It’s one thing we like to do a lot of. 

Conboy said Pure Harvest is made of 100% New York State ingredients, and the effort to help the SLPWA spans multiple breweries across the region. Wagner Valley Brewing Company helped in making the beer. Two Goats Brewing in Hector, NY, made their own beer that will donate proceeds to the association. Seneca Lake Brewing Company and Horseheads Brewing Company added the beer to their taps. The hops in the beer are from Pederson Farms in Seneca Castle, and the malts are done by Murmuration Malts in Bloomfield, NY. The event at Lucky Hare featured the local band, After Market, and food from Babe’s Burger, in Hector, NY.

Keeping Seneca Lake Clean

Kaitlin Fello is a member of the SLPWA and a collaborator with Lucky Hare in the making of Pure Harvest. She has a masters degree in water resource engineering and said she believes it is important for everyone to understand the value of water in our world. 

“Water is such a major issue in so many parts of the world, even in this country…” Fello said. “We’re really lucky to have the abundance of water that we have here. A lot of people don’t understand its importance, but there’s about 100,000 people that rely on Seneca Lake alone for their daily drinking water.”

Fello added that the figure is only for Seneca lake, and doesn’t account for everyone else in the Finger Lakes Region who use the water for their daily needs. Multiple members of Lucky Hare are well known to the SLPWA because they volunteer for the association.

“This beer’s number one ingredient is Seneca Lake water,” Fello said. “It makes perfect sense to partner like this.”

What’s Coming Down the Stream

View of Seneca Lake from the Lucky Hare Brewery. Source: Connor Ahern/Ithaca Week

Fello said that the SLPWA monitors the general health of the lake by testing waters and monitoring for harmful algal blooms. All of that costs money and resources for the organization. Last year it began a Sediment, Nutrient, & Pollution Reduction Program, which partners with and grants funds to projects that work to improve Seneca Lake watershed health.

“As we grow this partnership (with Lucky Hare), we may find that we have enough funding to create a new program,” Fello said. “Maybe it’s more than monitoring. Maybe it’s doing more sampling in more streams around Seneca Lake. Really, it’s about having a longer data set to better understand what’s happening in our watershed.”

Lake Health is important to both the local community and beer making. Alex Linde, the head brewer at Wagner Valley Brewing Company, said that for every one pint of beer that is made, 20 gallons of water are expended. 

Conboy expressed that community and environmental health are important to Lucky Hare Brewery. He said raising awareness for environmentalism is important for them and their business, and their collaboration with the SLPWA shows that. 

“I hope this is an annual thing. It is something that’s important for us,” Conboy said. “Without having clean water for us here to make beer, then there is no beer for Lucky Hare and all the other breweries.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to Ithaca Week

Your donation will support the student journalists of Ithaca College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Ithaca Week

Comments (0)

All Ithaca Week Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *