Cleaning up the Spokane River, one beer at a time

Cleaning up the Spokane River, one beer at a time

SPOKANE, Wash. - A walk along the Spokane River you see the beauty it brings, but it's also not hard to find trash along its banks too. Spokane Riverkeeper Bart Mihailovich hopes to change that.

With beer.

"The river is what and why we are here, it's what the city founded upon and it maintains and remains the most important thing we have in this community," Mihailovich said.

Anyone who has walked along its banks through Riverfront Park or driven across the Monroe Street Bridge have been witness to its power and beauty. But there are a lot of issues just below the surface and, in many cases, at the river's edge.

"We have a lot of issues with the Spokane River, there's legacy pollution, current ongoing pollution, there's land use issues that impact water quality," Mihailovich said.

Spokane Riverkeeper wants to spread the word and educate people about the importance of the river as well as raise money to help clean it up. How? By teaming up with River City Brewing to craft the Riverkeeper IPA.

"It's a bigger hoppy IPA. It's 6.5 percent alcohol and it's 77 IBU or international bitter unit," Emily Schwartz with River City Brewing said. "We added it almost at the the very end of the brew, we added 12 lbs. of hops all at once and we also double dry hopped it."

It's brewed with millennium hops to give it a distinctive Northwest IPA taste, not too hoppy with a little bit of zest.

A portion of the proceeds from Riverkeeper IPA will go to the non-profit organization, and this partnership is hoping will raise a pint to help protect the river.

"I think the Riverkeeper one of those hidden helpful organizations that a lot of people don't actually realize that they are out there being so active and helping so many people," Schwartz said.

"Partnerships like this really help push us further than we could have ever imagined going before," Mihailovich said.

You can raise a pint of Riverkeeper IPA at the River City Brewery in downtown Spokane.