The Drought Contingency Plan (DCP), the plan to reduce our use of Colorado River water and stabilize levels in Lake Mead, is critical to our rivers, birds, wildlife, communities, and economies. While the DCP will come with a cost, doing nothing is far too risky. Simply put, calls for a DCP are calls for collaboration.
The goal is to have an agreement in place so that DCP authorization is ready for Arizona’s next legislative session, and we have been encouraged by recent progress made toward this end. State water agencies are putting feuds behind them and working together. Nearly 90 percent of Arizona residents agree that low water supplies are a serious problem and support bold actions to ensure the sustainable use of our water resources.
It is in this spirit of cooperation and in celebration of the monsoon season and one of our favorite Arizona birds that we announce Audubon and the Western Rivers Brewers’ Council’s (WRBC) latest collaborative brew: Rain Crow IPA. Brought to you by Borderlands, Wren House, and Crooked Tooth brewing companies, this brew will help us reach far beyond our usual boundaries with opportunities to take action for Western Rivers and the birds – and beer – that depend on them.
“Rain Crow” is the colloquial term for the Western Yellow-billed Cuckoo, a bird that is emblematic of healthy Western Rivers. They spend much of their life in Central and South America, only coming to Arizona during the hottest months to take advantage of the productivity provided by our monsoon storms. It was with this imperiled bird and its favored weather in mind that the brewers dreamt up Rain Crow IPA. A perfect beer for a hot summer day, Rain Crow will be a 50% wheat Hazy IPA with 5 different kinds of hops plus some late additions that will be added part way through the brewing process.
Rain Crow IPA will help us spread the word about the WRBC at this year’s Arizona Craft Brewers Conference, and we will be celebrating its release on July 28th at the Real Wild and Woody Craft Beer Festival. Our Yellow-billed Cuckoo survey crew will be educating attendees about opportunities to take conservation action with Audubon and all three breweries will be there serving this special brew – they’ll even have cans available featuring artwork by Tucson-based artist Pete Connolly. After the event, you’ll be able to find it at Borderlands (Tucson), Wren House (Phoenix), and Crooked Tooth (Tucson) while supplies last.
Brewers know that an adequate and reliable water supply is critical to their craft. Audubon's Western Rivers Action Network members know that it is critical to healthy rivers, habitats, birds, and other wildlife. So, if you’re trying to think of a toast before enjoying your first pint of Rain Crow IPA, we suggest you try this one on for size: We’re all in this together!
Update 7/30/18: Audubon-branded cans of Rain Crow IPA are still on the way! Keep an eye on your local breweries' social media pages to be sure to catch their release.