In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and in the lead up to Hurricane Irma, breweries have played an important role—and not just because a beer can help alleviate some of that pre- and post-hurricane stress. In the event of an emergency, beer's number one ingredient becomes extremely important… water. And with plenty of access to drinkable water, as well as plenty of places to store it, breweries both big and small are helping to stockpile and distribute this valuable resource.
The craft beer news site Brewbound interviewed a number of Florida breweries about their plans leading up to Irma's anticipated landfall. Though pretty much all of them said their top priority was allowing time for staff members to prepare themselves, for some brewers, putting aside plenty of drinking water was another major initiative. Luis Brignoni, founder of Miami's Wynwood Brewing Company, said his brewery was filling kegs and empty fermentation tanks with water to be ready for the worst. Employees were also given the chance to take water-filled slim kegs if they wanted. Meanwhile, Eddie Leon, owner of the city's MIA Beer Company, said the same thing: Kegs were being filled with water for the staff if they needed them.
And if Irma is anywhere near as devastating as Harvey, Florida will likely see other major breweries play a major role in the relief effort by providing drinking water just as they have in Texas and Louisiana. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Anheuser-Busch InBev, MillerCoors and Oskar Blues all switched from canning brews to canning water—a move that is typical after disasters that reduce access to clean water. A-B InBev said its sent over 11 truckloads of emergency drinking water to the region with more to come. MillerCoors donated 300,000 cans of water, and Oskar Blues says it shipped 220,200 cans of water as well. Even smaller breweries are getting in on the effort: Last week, Kentucky's Braxton Brewing announced it was canning water for those affected by Hurricane Harvey, 1,000 cases worth
At the same time, some breweries have also pledged a portion of their proceeds to support those affected by the hurricanes. Basically, if you were looking for another excuse to hoist a beer, brewers across the country are giving you plenty of reason to do so right now.
This story originally appeared on Foodandwine.com.