Story at a glance
- Climate change is already threatening the production of beer in states across the country.
- New Belgium Brewing Company is positioning itself to lead the charge in fighting climate change within the industry.
- The Torched Earth Ale is raising money for Protect Our Winters, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing climate change legislation.
The reviews are in and New Belgium Brewing's latest Fat Tire ale is pretty awful. That’s the point, however, of the Torched Earth Ale, which tastes like climate change.
"To illustrate what the future of beer will look like if we don’t get more companies to commit to aggressive climate action, we’ve brewed up Torched Earth Ale. This beer uses the kind of ingredients that would be available in a climate-ravaged future...and they’re less than ideal," says the company, which is selling two four-packs of 16 ounce cans online for $39.99 — the profits from which will benefit Protect Our Winters (POW), a nonprofit dedicated to advancing climate change legislation.
The 5.2 percent alcohol by volume beer uses hop extracts and dandelions instead of fresh hops and smoke tainted water instead of purified water along with various malt extracts. The "apocalyptic" label artwork is by Los Angeles-based artist Kelly Malka, a first-generation Moroccan immigrant who has seen the consequences of climate change in her own country.
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“If this was the beer of the future, I’d probably drink less beer,” Fat Tire brewer Cody Reif said in a promotional video.
In addition to raising money for POW, the company hopes "to inspire the 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies who do not have a real climate plan to make one now – before it’s too late." After producing the first certified carbon neutral beer in the country last year, the company put out a call to action, asking larger companies to join them in investing in renewable energy, regenerative agriculture and carbon sequestration.
“If you don’t have a climate plan, you don’t have a business plan,” said New Belgium CEO Steve Fechheimer in a release. “Aggressive action to help solve the climate crisis is not only an urgent environmental and social imperative – it’s also a no-brainer for companies seeking to create long-term shareholder value, compete with rivals like China, and create good-paying jobs here at home. As a medium-sized company, New Belgium can only have a medium-sized impact. We need more of the big guys to step up, too.”
Along with investments and donations, Fat Tire is also committing to advocating for aggressive climate and energy policies, supporting green suppliers, using more hybrid electric vehicles, renewable energy installations at breweries and ever better management of their refrigerants.
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