Partnerships are always fun. Tango and Cash, Lucy and Ethel, bacon and eggs, and now, Four Peaks Brewing and Arizona State Parks & Trails. These two local entities have paired up to provide tall cans of what many will need on the trail this summer (no, not beer or something like canned sunscreen). It's free water.
More than 50,000 cans of "hydrating, life-giving" drinking water will be dispersed at the 32 state parks to hikers and visitors. The reason for this is simple — Arizona heat has caused death for visiting and local hikers alike. And while much goes in to keeping heat-related incidents from happening while in outdoor Arizona, water is — or probably should be — high on that list.
"We just want to make sure our trails and state parks are as safe as can be," says Zach Fowle, Four Peaks' communications manager. And since the brewery is named Four Peaks after the state's natural landmarks, they wanted to help support a department like state parks, which in turn supports Arizona's environment.
And Arizona State Parks could probably use the public relations boost. Even under the new director, parks employees and volunteers have recorded multiple cases of archaeological destruction at Catalina State Park this year, according to photographs and internal emails obtained and reported by Phoenix New Times .
Damaged antiquity sites aside, Arizona State Parks sees more than 3.1 million visitors each year — according to its website. That's a lot of thirsty people, which brings us back to water.
This project of canning drinking water was a year in the making. Social media manager Amiel Jaramillo says the team definitely had a celebratory toast of the stuff after they dropped off the many pallets of water with the parks department on May 22.
Water has been a staple of the brewing process over at Four Peaks since its establishment in 1996. Instead of using municipal water, the brewery uses water purified by reverse osmosis. Fowle says many Four Peaks Brewing Company patrons already have asked about canning the water served at the Eighth Street location.
But actually doing it was something else entirely.
Brewing manager Andy Harden says the logistics of making water took a lot of extra steps, and he and his staff had to figure some things out along the way. "It was definitely eye-opening compared to what we do with beer," he says. For instance, water is regulated by the EPA, not the FDA.
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But there’s one more perk.
This drinking water is packed in these neat-looking cans, which were actually designed by Fowle. That means recyclable aluminum versus plastic water bottles. There's also talk of roping in Waste Management Inc., to provide recycling receptacles at the parks and elsewhere for the cans. It'll most likely be called the "Crush It" campaign. You get it.
The Four Peaks Brewing and Arizona State Parks canned-up water may be picked up at park visitor centers. So, get your water (and your magnet) and then hit the trail. The drinking water will also be available at Arizona State Parks and Four Peaks events.