We don’t know if you’ve heard, but the water supply in the Southwest is not doing well. Ongoing drought, increased demand, and the effects of climate change have reduced the amount of water in our largest reservoirs—like Lake Mead, which supplies much of the water Arizonans use—to crisis levels. In January, federal restrictions will limit water use in Arizona for the first time ever. So we set out to create a beer that both brought attention to the water crisis and offered a possible solution: This Beer Saves Water.
How can beer help save water, you ask? This Beer Saves Water is made using barley from Sinagua Malt. Based in Arizona’s Verde Valley, Sinagua works with local farmers to shift from traditional summer crops like corn and alfalfa to barley, a late winter/spring crop. This crop-switching results in less water diverted from the Verde River during high-demand, low streamflow periods, leaving more water for people and wildlife. Since 2019, Sinagua’s efforts have kept more than 425 million gallons of water in the Verde River. Every Arizona Wilderness beer uses Sinagua Malt as a base; This Beer Saves Water is made with 100% Sinagua.
To drive the water-conservation point home, This Beer Saves Water is also made with Sabro and Zappa hops, both of which are relatively drought-resistant.
We actually sat down and did the math: Every pint of This Beer Saves Water—and, in fact, every Wilderness beer—helps offset more than 50 gallons of water for Arizona’s waterways. Our hope is that the beer inspires people to start thinking about how they can save water and support the businesses that are being proactive about sustainability. As the water crisis in the Southwest worsens, it’s only going to become more important.