If whisky is for drinking and water is for fighting over, then beer is for bringing people to the table. This was certainly the case this month at Arizona Wilderness Brewing Company in Gilbert, Arizona where the release of the first Western Rivers Brewers’ Council branded beer, Hummingbird Springs Sour Saison, sparked conversations about birds, native plants, rivers, water, and more.
Hummingbird Springs Sour Saison, a tart saison with unmalted Sonoran White Wheat and dry hopped with Citra and Lemondrop hops, was inspired by Arizona’s amazing diversity of Hummingbirds. With 14 regularly occurring species, we’re second only to Texas. To celebrate its release, Audubon spent the day at Wilderness talking to visitors about Arizona’s hummingbirds and opportunities to help by planting native plants. Making things even more exciting, the day ended with a raffle for two Arizona Wilderness-donated first-class tickets on the Verde Canyon Railroad. This trip will draw attention to Arizona Wilderness, the Nature Conservancy, Hauser Farms, and Sinagua Malt’s efforts to enhance flow in the Verde River,
When Audubon launched the Western Rivers Brewers’ Council, the goals were twofold: to engage Colorado River Basin small businesses in advocating for sound water policy, and to capitalize on craft brewing’s sustainable approach and growing footprint to connect with an audience that Audubon might otherwise not be able to reach. With brewers joining us in meetings with policy makers, publishing their opinions, and suggesting creative collaborations like Hummingbird Springs Saison, the relationships being built through this project hold great potential for Arizona’s birds, rivers, and water.
Hummingbird Springs Saison may be in limited supply, but opportunities to protect Arizona’s rivers and birds are not. Check out the links below to take action.
- Western Rivers Bird Count
To better understand birds and the places they need, the National Audubon Society is calling upon community scientists to conduct bird counts through the end of June at priority locations along rivers in the West. With some remote sites and easily identified focal species, you don’t need to be an expert birder to participate in this effort – you just need to be up for an adventure! Learn how to participate here.
- Water in the News
You may not have the time to dig through the news for everything relevant to Arizona’s rivers, water, birds, and other wildlife, but we do! By frequently visiting our Water in the News page, you can easily stay up to speed on issues critical to the health of rivers in Arizona and across the Colorado River Basin.
- Tribal Water & Restoration Forum:
In March, Audubon Arizona hosted a forum with the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals to discuss rivers, water, and habitat restoration on tribal lands. Eleven tribes were represented at the forum, and goal was simple - to open the floor to tribal environmental professionals, giving tribal members, Audubon, and the Western Rivers Action Network an opportunity to learn from these experts in the field. Click here to explore the growing compilation of resources from this forum.