Shock Top Brewing wants you to drop a brick (in your toilet)

join the bowl movement
© Project Drop A Brick

This beer company wants to drop bricks in toilets across California, help fund new water-saving inventions, and share practical tips for helping to conserve water.

Shock Top Brewing, whose products are easily recognizable by the sunglass-wearing, grain mohawk-sporting mascot on the labels, is taking aim at the California drought with a combination of crowdfunding support and water conservation tips. The company's Shock the Drought campaign includes partnerships with the crowdfunding site Indiegogo and various nonprofit organizations in California, and to kick off the initiative, Shock Top has donated $100,000 to the Drop-A-Brick 2.0 Indiegogo campaign. This cash infusion will allow the Drop-A-Brick team to scale up manufacturing of their rubber toilet brick and to offer them for free (excluding shipping costs) to thousands of people who want to take a small dent out of their water consumption habits.

Last October, we told you to drop a brick in the toilet (well, the toilet tank, anyway) to fight the drought, because it can displace about a half a gallon of water and thereby save an estimated two gallons of water per person per day, and wrote about the initial Drop-A-Brick rubber brick campaign, but the team fell short of its initial fundraising goal. Although this flexible rubber brick is viable water-saving solution for many conventional toilets (not for modern high-efficiency toilets), and is preferable to using an actual brick, it appears that not enough people were willing to pony up $15 for the team's version. But now, thanks to the donation from Shock Top, people can get a Drop-A-Brick for the cost of shipping, which is $5, or chip in $10 for one for themselves and one to be donated to a drought-stricken Californian household.

Shock Top, which is an Anheuser-Busch company, has also partnered with Indiegogo to help identify and regularly fund new water-saving innovations through the end of the year, which will then be distributed to Californians at low or no cost by the non-profit partners of Shock the Drought as they come available.

"Shock the Drought launches on August 13, 2015, and will continue through the end of 2015. Every month this year, Shock Top will fund an impactful water-saving invention on Indiegogo, spurring water conservation projects past their fundraising goals and releasing thousands of products to a state thirsty for solutions. "

As a hub for this water conservation campaign, the Shock the Drought website features practical water-saving tips that anyone can take action on (which, to be honest, are the same things we've been saying for years), and features information about its partners, Save Our Water, Water Deeply, Solano Saves Water, and Save The Drop.

"We appreciate the help of Shock Top to spread the word about the need to conserve and direct people to Save Our Water to identify specific actions. There is tremendous drought awareness, but Californians are still learning which actions are most effective in saving water." - Jennifer Persike, Save Our Water

I think that Shock Top stretched the truth a bit in choosing to phrase the claim "Every month this year," even though we're already in August, but that's about par for the course when it comes to PR and media attention. Having said that, I'm all in favor of corporate social and environmental responsibility initiatives, which I believe includes charitable endeavors like this one. I do, however, find it curiously ironic that one of Shock Top's selling points for its beer is the 'unfiltered' style of production, "for beer drinkers who live life unfiltered." Obviously unfiltered means something entirely different when it comes to beer than what it means when referring to water, but when considered in conjunction with the Shock the Drought campaign, which seeks to conserve clean water, it struck me as funny that a business in an industry which relies on having copious amounts of clean filtered water to make its products would stick with the "live life unfiltered" tagline.

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