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Why breweries are making beer to support the Chattahoochee River
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Cherry Street Brewing, located in Cumming, is the first of the group to release its Chattahoochee River-inspired beer named Helen Yeah. The other breweries will follow with their own releases each month as a part of Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s Quality Beer Tour. Photo courtesy Jenna Eisenhauer.

Seven Georgia breweries have pledged to support the Chattahoochee River watershed through doing what they do best — making beer.

Cherry Street Brewing, located in Cumming, is the first of the group to release its Chattahoochee River-inspired beer named Helen Yeah. The other breweries will follow with their own releases each month as a part of Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s Quality Beer Tour

Each business has committed to giving a portion of their sales to the nonprofit’s four key programs: trash clean up, neighborhood water watch, bacteria alert and Chattahoochee Aquatic Sensor System Integrated. Cherry Street Brewing intends to contribute 15% of its Helen Yeah sales.

Becca K. Powell, Chattahoochee Riverkeeper’s development director, said each brewery has promised to not only donate to the nonprofit’s efforts, but host a water trash clean up and an outing related to the watershed.

Cherry Street Brewing plans to hold its clean up from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 22, at Big Creek Greenway in Forsyth. 

The free outing, which will include fly fishing, will follow on Sunday, March 29, at the Buford Dam. Powell said the date could change depending on the weather. People can reserve a spot to fly fish by texting CSBFISH to 41444.

Cherry Street Brewing’s Helen Yeah beer offers an easy-drinking blonde ale.

The can’s design also pays homage to the watershed with an image of the Chattahoochee River winding up into Georgia’s sunlit mountains. The scene is framed by the shape of an evergreen tree and set upon a solid white background.

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Jenna Eisenhauer.
Jenna Eisenhauer, a senior University of North Georgia student, designed the can’s art. She said the opportunity came up when she was looking for graphic design internship opportunities at Georgia breweries.

“I would walk down the beer aisle in the grocery store, and I wanted to buy beer just because of the designs on them,” Eisenhauer said. “They’re just colorful and attractive, and I honestly wanted to be a part of it.”

Eisenhauer said a friend of hers connected her with Cherry Street Brewing, and the brewery accepted her for an internship. 

Eisenhauer, who lives in Dahlonega, said she drew inspiration from the North Georgia Mountains. She intentionally used “bright and earthy” colors to portray a peaceful scene on the can.

“I’m so excited about it,” Eisenhauer said. “It’s my first big project.”

Gainesville’s Left Nut Brewing Co. will launch its supportive efforts in April, followed by Wild Leap Brew Co. in May, Steady Hand Beer Co. in June, Terrapin Taproom’s ATL Brewlab in July, Pontoon Brewing Company in August and Reformation Brewery in September. 

Pap Datta, owner of Left Nut Brewing, said his brewery decided to get involved with the campaign because of its connection to clean water. 

“We are the headwaters brewery,” Datta said. “We draw our water from the lake, which is sourced from the Chattahoochee. Our source of water has a big impact on our beer.”

Left Nut Brewing’s Chattahoochee-inspired beer, Pure Source IPA, will be released on Saturday, March 28. The brewery’s clean up date will take place during the Chattachoochee Riverkeeper’s annual Sweep the Hooch event on Saturday, April 4, and the Lake Lanier Olympic Venue.

“We need to make people aware that good water equals good beer,” Datta said. "It’s a central pivotal thing for us to have this resource in a healthy and clean supply.”

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Rainwater drains into Lake Lanier in May 2017. - photo by Nick Bowman
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