Water and beer go hand in hand; if you don’t believe that, just look at how the California drought has affected the state’s microbreweries. Major macro-brewer, Anheuser-Busch, has ceased beer production and instead taken to canning fresh water to provide relief for those affected by devastating flooding in Texas and Oklahoma.

 

A map with Anheuser-Busch cans indicating which states are receiving support from their new canned water production plan.

Anheuser-Busch is canning water instead of making beer in efforts to help states devastated by floods. (anheuser-busch.com)

In those two states alone, dozens have been killed by the record-breaking rainfall caused by recent storms, with even more critically injured. The destruction has made access to fresh water — a necessity for survival and rebuilding efforts — next to impossible for many. In total, the company intends to ship roughly 50,000 cans of fresh water to those in need.

 

Rob Haas, senior general manager of the brewing giant spoke out about the effort:

“Relief workers and people in the region are in need of safe, clean drinking water as they work to recover from the storms, and this is one way Anheuser-Busch can help our friends and neighbors.”

This is not the first time Anheuser-Busch has helped catastrophe victims: the company has provided roughly 73 million cans of water to various relief efforts since the 1980s.

 

While we cannot downplay the importance of this contribution, we must also address the immense PR victory for Anheuser-Busch — one that was sorely needed. The company recently came under fire for its ill-conceived “Up For Whatever” ad campaign; bottles of Bud Light said that drinking the product would result in removing “no” from your vocabulary for the night. To many, this came across as a jab at the rules of sexual consent, resulting in a major PR black eye for the company.

 

Corporate responsibility is a tried and true method for gauging public perception of a company. Millennials specifically take note of when companies make an effort to do some good in the world. As Anheuser-Busch has engaged in this philanthropy for years, it feels less like a cheap attempt to recover from previous missteps and more like an ingrained passion for charitable work.

 

What do you think of Anheuser-Busch’s efforts to help those in needs? Does it make up for past mistakes? Comment below or tweet @connerws to tell us what you think!