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Save The Ales | A Toast to the Environment

Save The Ales | A Toast to the Environment
Kara Loo and Kelissa Hieber
Avg. Reading Time: 2 min

Do you ever catch yourself at breweries gazing up at the towering steel brew tanks and wondering about water conservation? When a beer you love is released in cans, do you get a little giddy thinking about the outdoor adventures it can now safely accompany you on? Does a farmhouse ale taste the slightest bit more refreshing when you find that the ingredients came from a nearby farm? We could keep going with the questions on sustainability awareness in the craft beer industry, but we’ll stop for time’s sake.

Truth is, if you’re a part of the craft beer culture, you’ve thought about the environmental impact of the industry, whether by choice or experience. The “less impact” approach is trendy but also downright necessary. After all, beer brewing and drinking culture would be nonexistent without reliable access to clean water, fertile farming lands, and our efforts to maintain our resources.

Having recently become Colorado beer drinkers, our sensitivity to water usage in beer has heightened. In our explorations, we’ve encountered no less than 4 beautiful, undisturbed freshwater lakes, only to realize the reason that nobody was boating or swimming in them was that they store our protected drinking water. Water usage and ownership laws are CRAZY strange in this state, even encouraging use of limited water supplies during times of extreme drought. In fact, the 200-plus breweries that now exist in Colorado are mostly supplied water by the Colorado River and its tributaries, but these rivers are under threat by growth, development, and climate change. More and more breweries pop up in Colorado every day putting additional strain on these limited water sources. The point is, as much as Coloradans love beer, the limited availability of water supply is a harsh reality we must consider everyday.

May we present, to those who love beer and also want to give some love to Colorado air and water, the Save The Ales beer tasting and fundraiser event. The event is in less than a month on Friday, September 5th and is hosted by Conservation Colorado (a local non-profit and the state’s largest conservation group). This is the fourth year of the event, which only features Colorado breweries, including New Belgium, Odell, Oskar Blues, River North and many, many more. ALL proceeds from the sale of your ticket will be used to further Conservation Colorado’s advocacy and public education efforts to protect Colorado’s water, including raising awareness about water conservation (check out Water Not Beer) and the need for a strong State Water Plan (Colorado has never actually had a water plan before). Pretty cool.

The population of Colorado is expected to double by 2050, at which point there is a projected gap between supply and demand (and that gap is not in our favor). As conscious members of the truly special Colorado beer culture we must ask ourselves: what are our environmental obligations as participating members of the brewing industry and culture? There are so many ways that we can strive to make positive changes in this industry. We think this event is just one way that you can get involved. Save the Ales provides an opportunity to not only make a difference but also drink lots of delicious beers! Isn’t that what Colorado is all about?

4th Annual Save The Ales Fundraiser and Beer Tasting Event
Friday, September 5, 2014
6-10 P.M. (6-7 P.M. VIP hour only)
GA – $35, VIP – $60

EXDO Hall, 3545 Larimer St., Denver, CO 80205
ConservationCO.org/SaveTheAles

Special thanks to members of Conservation Colorado for providing us with water usage data.

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