We’re beyond thrilled to share that Ninkasi Brewing Company has unveiled the Friends of Trees Pale Ale, the latest edition to its Rare and Delicious series of beers.
A hoppy but drinkable Northwest beer, the ale is brewed to commemorate our 25th anniversary, and Ninkasi is donating all of the profits from the beer back to Friends of Trees!
The first taste will go to attendees to our Once Upon a Tree 25th Anniversary gala September 27, and after that the ale will be available on draft and in 22-ounce bottles throughout Portland.
“We can’t think of a better way to celebrate 25 years of people coming together to plant trees,” said Scott Fogarty, Executive Director for Friends of Trees. “This beer is delicious and every sip gives back to our communities, thanks to Ninkasi.”
“Quality of life and community are big drivers of both of our organizations,” said Nikos Ridge, Ninkasi CEO and co-founder. “Trees are an important resource and one reason it’s so easy to appreciate where we live; we’re proud to support the work of Friends of Trees into its next 25 years.”
The Friends of Trees Pale Ale has an original gravity of 1055, IBU (International Bitterness Units) of 60 and ABV (alcohol by volume) of 5.5 percent.
We hope you get to try a bottle (or two or four). Thanks to Ninkasi for helping us celebrate 25 years of Friends of Trees! Cheers!
In anticipation of our 25th Anniversary Gala — Once Upon A Tree — next Saturday, September 27th, we’re featuring a brief memoir of trees by our very own Heather Durham.
Once upon a tree, you learned to climb. To face your fears and trust your five-year-old body. Pine needles in your hair, knuckles scratched, dirty sap staining both knees, you found yourself giddy with joy. Hugging that white pine as it swayed in the wind, you looked down on the houses below and understood the meaning of self-sufficiency.
Trees brought simpler lessons too. In the apple orchards of New England’s rolling hills, trees gave food. Red Delicious and Macintosh snacks you could eat right off the trees on the walk home from school. Hot spiced cider and apple cobbler on a frosty fall afternoon under deciduous trees aflame with color. And best of all, visits to the steamy sugarhouses where watery sugar maple sap was boiled down to crystalline sweetness over open fires. Maple syrup dribbled down your chin.
Summer camp meant the snap crackle pop of evening campfires. Eastern white pine, red oak, and paper birch. Charred marshmallows and crispy black-skinned hotdogs tasting of wood-smoke. And Sunday chapel, where you sat on locally milled pine or spruce log benches nestled among walls of hemlock, beech and maple rocking in the wind off the lake.
Growing older and setting out on your own, you discovered the strangeness of landscapes without trees. The monotony of Midwest farm fields, the stark desolation of Southwest deserts, and the urban deserts of tar and steel. Utility, beauty, and culture notwithstanding, you knew that these would never be places to call home. You knew, in the deepest way of knowing, that home requires trees.
Though Florida offered up water-loving mangrove and cypress swamps, California invited you to spend lazy afternoons lounging in live oaks, and the Rocky Mountains boasted shining white aspens and butterscotch-scented ponderosas, it was the forests of the Pacific Northwest that won you over. It was there you put down roots of your own.
You learned the names. Oregon ash, pacific madrone, Oregon white oak, western hemlock. You learned the stories – how western redcedar was the local tree of life, and how Douglas fir protects itself from fire by storing water. You tried your hand at some of the old ways of knowing trees, made aromatic healing salve from black cottonwood buds, medicinal tincture from cedar needles, friction fire using cedar bark and branches, and a hand-carved bow from western yew.
You watched and learned from other tree-loving critters, from the barred owl family nesting yearly in a bigleaf maple at Tryon Creek State Park, the flying squirrel that startled you one night as it glided down to your bird feeder, the raccoon that nightly climbed down from a sequoia and onto your roof, the oak snag at Cooper Mountain – known as the condo – that typically hosts at least four different cavity nesting species, to the Douglas Fir glowworm you discovered at your feet one night, a night when you really needed to remember levity, a critter you are pretty sure is proof of magic.
Today, planting trees, you plant all these possibilities and more. Fir needles in your hair, arms scratched, dirty sap staining both knees, you find that your forty-year-old body is still capable of giddy joy. Tucking an acorn deep into the soil, you look out at a field of new seedlings and understand the meaning of interconnectedness.
- Heather is a Green Space Initiative Specialist at Friends of Trees and is excited to plant thousands of native trees and shrubs this season in the Green Space Initiative program. (Unfortunately, none will be big enough for her to climb for many years.)
Friends of Trees is turning 25, and guess who get’s the gift? Well you can, as the reporter announces in this interview with Eugene Volunteer Programs Manager Jennifer Killian for KEZI Channel 9.