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Oregon Brewery Declared “Salmon-Safe”

Portland Tribune

Buy beer from one Oregon brewery, and you can not only drink like a fish, you help can save a few of them in the process.

Hopworks Urban Brewery in Portland is the the first brewery to be certified “Salmon-Safe,” signifying their commitment to preserving the fish’s habitat.

The brewery’s new label carries with it an endorsement by Salmon-Safe, a non-profit organization that encourages companies to responsibly use watersheds. To get the certification, Hopworks needed to prove it didn’t harm the watersheds from where it takes the water needed to make its beer.

Salmon-Safe certified the brewery though an assessment that evaluated its stormwater and water use management, water use management, chemical and pesticide reduction, and other measures taken at the Hopworks main campus.

The assessment took into account a retention basin on Hopwork’s property, kitchen and bathroom appliances designed to preserve water use, as well as the brewery’s use of salmon-safe hops, which are bought from farms with similar environmental principles.

Sockeye Salmon spawning in a Pacific Northwest river

The “Salmon-Safe” label has been adopted by several vineyards in the Pacific Northwest which meet the non-profit’s standards, although Hopworks is the first beermaker to gain the certification.

Other companies to gain the Salmon-Safe label include Nike World Headquarters campus, Portland State University, and the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry. Along with Hopworks, New Belgium and Deschutes Brewery have also expressed interest in making their products more salmon-friendly.

The same way “Dolphin-Safe” became a practical requirement for tuna canneries in the 1990s, some speculate the “Salmon-Safe” label could soon be the next way for companies in the Northwest to promote their environmental awareness. In a part of the country where breweries and the salmon industry are both big business, a Salmon-Safe label could soon be a badge of honor for companies hoping to attract eco-conscious customers.

“Joining with Hopworks means that we are working with a national environmental leader in craft beer,” said Dan Kent, Salmon-Safe Co-Founder and Executive Director.

“We anticipate that breweries across the West Coast will follow their lead in transforming how brewing sites and operations impact local watersheds.”

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Oregon Brewery Declared “Salmon-Safe”