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"I left inspired to protect the special places in my own backyard."
Sara Renner, Y2Y supporter

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Great water makes great beer

The Love Your Headwaters campaign enters an exciting new phase in Alberta.

Sometimes the success of a campaign relies on the ability to reach new audiences.

This summer, the Love Your Headwaters campaign — designed to educate Albertans on the importance of ensuring their water supply remains protected — did just that.

The campaign aims to secure Wildland Provincial Park status for 6,717-square-kilometres of mountains, foothills, glaciers, lakes and rivers west of Rocky Mountain House, between Jasper and Banff National Parks, known as the Bighorn. The designation will allow hunting, fishing and quiet recreation while prioritizing water, wilderness and wildlife. 

Alberta's Bighorn | Love Your Headwaters

This area is where the headwaters of the North Saskatchewan River are, providing clean water for Edmonton’s homes and industries. 

Program staff at Y2Y continue to educate the public on the issue using videos, a dedicated website, outreach at events and festivals, and social media channels.

Recently they also experimented with an innovative way to reach new audiences and communities.

By striking partnerships with Edmonton-based Bent Stick Brewing Co. and Alley Kat Brewing Company, the Love Your Headwaters team is now delivering a refreshing dose of education alongside libation.

Bent Stick beer | Love Your Headwaters

Select bottles and boxes from the two companies now come armed with the Love Your Headwaters logo and website address, providing reasons and ways to keep the beer tasting great. 

Bent Stick founders Scott Kendall, Kurtis Jensen and Ben Rix recognize that without great water you can't have great beer and were happy to promote the campaign.

In an interview with CBC, Scott says it is important to his business and community for others to knows the kind of high quality water the North Saskatchewan delivers to Edmonton. He thinks it is important to know where your water comes from and why it needs protection.

For Lacey Cropley, marketing manager for Alley Kat, it’s about caring for our Earth.

"Here at Alley Kat, we’re passionate about keeping our operations sustainable and contributing to a cleaner planet wherever we can,” she says. “We are incredibly lucky to have some of the best water in the world at our doorstep, so looking after that resource is of the utmost importance.” 

The importance of water is something that applies to everyone, not just beer fans, says Stephen Legault, Y2Y's program director for Crown, Alberta and Northwest Territories. 

“Albertans need reliable clean water,” he says. “Our water comes from the narrow strip of mountains and foothills that run along our western border. Nine out of every 10 glasses of water from our taps comes from just 10 per cent of our land base. We need to protect this precious water source.”

Thanks to the website, community outreach at various events in and around Edmonton this summer, and the new brewery partnerships, more Albertans are getting to know the power of their headwaters.

Find out more at the Love Your Headwaters site, including ways you can take action to protect this treasured resource.

And raise a toast to Alberta’s headwaters with a bottle of Bent Stick or Alley Kat beer, now found province-wide.