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Anheuser-Busch Brewery Filling Beer Cans With Drinking Water After Harvey

Alcohol is usually served to people, often at the best of times when celebration is called for. It’s served after a hard day at work, after a wedding, and as a way to toast friends and family. But when disaster strikes, alcohol can turn things about and serve those who need it most.

The Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Cartersville, Georgia shut down its production line for beer and changed over to filling cans with drinking water. The brewery has begun sending over 50,000 cans of water to Baton Rouge Red Cross shelters to help victims of Hurricane Harvey.

It’s ironic that after a water-based natural disaster like a hurricane, drinking water becomes one of the most valuable resources in the area. Water is the stuff of life and the basis for all alcoholic drinks. The Budweiser plant knew this and quickly shut down its beer production in response to a need. Alcohol is now serving people rather than being served by them.

Elsewhere, bars are opening their doors and freely distributing food from their stockrooms and restaurants to those in need. Throughout the Houston area and the western Gulf Coast, stories of neighborhood bars and microbreweries offering free food and water to those who need it are cropping up.

In previous disasters, such as Hurricane Matthew, Montana and California wildfires, breweries, wineries, and distillers often step in to offer drinking water and other relief. The industry as a whole donates billions globally to charity and relief efforts worldwide.

Most of the time, we think of alcohol as being served. Sometimes, though, it serves us. Our hearts go out to those affected by Hurricane Harvey. If you’re looking for a way to help, contact the Red Cross ( or the Humane Society of the United States (

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The Author

Robert Lewis

Robert Lewis

Robert F. Lewis focuses his practice on the laws governing alcohol industry members at all three tiers as well as tobacco, and other regulated products. Rob has accumulated over 25 years of experience in the alcohol industry including previously serving in law enforcement and as a special agent with the State of Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco. Rob’s experience includes working with foreign and domestic alcohol industry clients in a wide variety of issues including alcohol licensing and structuring of alcohol service operations, alcohol trade practice analysis and consulting, defending regulatory enforcement actions as well as state and federal investigations of alcohol industry members, administrative litigation, land use and zoning analysis and approval processes, and state and local government lobbying efforts. Rob has also served as an expert witness on matters relating to alcohol beverage law and administrative code provisions in Florida.

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