National News

Longmont brewer halts production to can water for hurricane victims

Posted August 31

— A Colorado brewery is making a huge delivery to hurricane evacuees in Houston. But it's not beer.

Oskar Blues Brewery stopped production Tuesday to can water.

Beer usually runs through the Longmont company's assembly line. But on Tuesday, it was just water.

For 20 hours, the brewery stopped canning its famous alcoholic libations.

Instead, workers filled 88,800 cans with water. All of it is heading to the flooding disaster in Texas.

The brewery said the devastation there is sobering.

"Just seeing the utter devastation, everything people own, wiped out in instant. It's hard to look away from that and not help," said Diana Ralston with Can'd Aid, Oskar Blues' nonprofit arm that is providing the cans along with Ball Corporation.

The company has donated 577,000 cans of water to other communities thirsting for clean, safe water such as in Lyons during the Colorado floods four years ago.

"In 2013, when we were dealing with the flood here, it became obvious how important clean drinking water is to the community to survive on a day-to-day basis," said Chad Melis with Oskar Blues.

The brewery also came through for Flint, Michigan, after cost-cutting measures led to poisoning the town's drinking water. Other disasters followed.

"There were hurricanes in South Carolina in 2015. And again we are in position to use our manufacturing place and the extra effort from the people who work here to provide a very simple resource," Melis said.

The water will travel more than 1,000 miles from Longmont to Houston. It's a time when having one for the road is actually a good thing.

"We figured getting that clean drinking water there is priority one," Ralston said.

It takes about 16 hours to get to Houston from Longmont. The beer truck will leave Wednesday and arrive later this week.

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