Blogs > Water Quality > Riverkeeper and Peekskill Brewery brew beer to highlight drinking water source

Riverkeeper and Peekskill Brewery brew beer to highlight drinking water source

Peekskill Brewery-Riverkeeper beer-June 2023

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Riverkeeper has teamed up with Peekskill Brewery on a unique wheat beer that highlights the source of drinking water for 100,000 people: Peekskill Hollow Brook, which is not only the City of Peekskill’s primary water source, but also supplements the Village of Buchanan’s water supply, and serves as a backup for the Towns of Cortlandt, Somers and Yorktown. The wheat beer is flavored with sumac and spicebush – two species commonly found along Peekskill Hollow Brook. And, of course, its primary ingredient is local water!

Peekskill Brewery Riverkeeper beerRiverkeeper has assisted Peekskill, Ossining, and the Hudson 7, a collaboration of the mid-Hudson municipalities that draw drinking water from the Hudson River, in developing their first-ever protection plans for their respective drinking water sources, as part of the state’s new Drinking Water Source Protection Program. Riverkeeper is also an advisor to the statewide program. Peekskill and Ossining’s plans were approved and adopted earlier this year, and Riverkeeper has continued working with Peekskill to develop a water quality monitoring program for the brook.

Temperature increases and extreme weather associated with climate change will stress water supplies, making this kind of planning even more important.

All public drinking water is treated prior to distribution to homes and businesses. Protecting the sources of drinking water involves ensuring that forests can naturally filter the water to the maximum extent possible, while reducing or eliminating sources of potential contamination.

Peekskill Hollow Brook flows out of Lake Tibet in the Town of Kent, and flows to the Hudson River just north of Peekskill. Most people’s interaction with Peekskill Hollow Brook happens in a white-knuckled moment on the Taconic State Parkway, when drivers at breakneck speeds coast down into a steep-sided valley in the Hudson Highlands, quickly cross the brook, and then climb the other slope. Imagine the cascade of rainwater coursing down that pavement into storm drains and then into the brook, and you have an idea why it is important to manage the brook’s watershed.

A watershed is the land area that drains into a particular body of water. Open lands help filter the water naturally, while roads, parking lots, septic tanks, farms or other activities can introduce risks. The brook’s watershed includes large forested tracts in the Highlands in the towns of Putnam Valley and Carmel, including California Hills State Forest and Granite Mountain Preserve. It also includes the lake communities of Lake Peekskill and Oscawana Lake in Putnam Valley, Lake Mahopac in Carmel, as well as large commercial and residential areas in the Towns of Cortlandt and Yorktown. Wiccopee Reservoir stores water that can be released to the brook to supplement the water supply when brook levels are low.

By brewing a beer to highlight Peekskill Hollow Brook, Riverkeeper hopes to raise awareness that the brook is an important regional water source, and that residents and decision-makers in the region should take care to protect it.

The beer will be available on tap at Peekskill Brewery starting on Friday, July 7 with a Riverkeeper happy hour from 4-6 p.m., and in cans at select stores regionally.


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