Photo: Fat Tire

New Belgium Brewed an Intentionally Disgusting Beer to Promote Climate Change Awareness

by Eben Diskin Apr 20, 2021

Intentionally creating a bad-tasting beer might sound counterintuitive for a brewery, but that’s exactly what New Belgium Brewing did as part of its Earth Day marketing campaign. Torched Earth Ale is brewed using smoke-tainted water, dandelion weeds, and drought-resistant grains, all of which are ingredients New Belgium believes would be among the few ingredients available in a world ravaged by climate change.

In New Belgium’s own words: “while it’s technically beer, it’s not great.”

If you’re thinking there’s no way anyone would buy an intentionally gross beer just to make a point about climate change, well, welcome to Colorado.

The beer is part of the brewery’s “Last Call for Climate” campaign. Part of the campaign includes an online tool listing which Fortune 500 companies have climate plans to achieve net-zero emissions by 2030, and the campaign also encourages people to lobby their favorite brands to adopt such plans if the companies haven’t done so already.

According to The Coloradoan, New Belgium CEO Steve Fechheimer said in a statement: “If you don’t have a climate plan, you don’t have a business plan. 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…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.”

For truly sadistic drinkers, the limited-edition beer is currently available for curbside and to-go sales at New Belgium’s Fort Collins location.

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