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A Super Bowl champion, Champion Brewing, & helping others get clean water

Champion Brewing Waterboys IPA
Champion Brewing teams up with Chris Long, the Chris Long Foundation, and Waterboys.Org.

It’s so easy to take clean water for granted. Clean water is always ready to flow from your sink with minimal effort. Everyday you pass at least one if not multiple water fountains with an unlimited supply. Besides absolutely necessary for human survival, water makes up over 90% of that after work beer you’ve been thinking about since the alarm went off this morning.

For most of us in the U.S., clean water is everywhere you look. Unfortunately, not everyone in the world is that lucky.

More than 844 million people around the world don’t have basic clean water access. That’s more than twice the population of the United States. As tragic as this is, there is a way you can help some of those less fortunate, and it very seriously involves drinking beer.

This is the story of Champion Brewing’s Waterboys IPA. It began 6 years ago with 2x Super Bowl Champion Chris Long, climbing the tallest mountain in Africa.

Before his Lombardi Trophy wins with the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles, you found Long playing for the Saint Louis Rams. For Chris, the desire to help others meant doing something “out of the box,” but he didn’t honestly know what that entailed. Sometimes life just reveals that on its own.

In the winter 2013, Long convinced Rams teammate James Hall to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. During the climb and time in Tanzania, both were stuck by the beauty and resiliency of the country. While celebrating the climb in a his hotel bar, Long bumped into Joe Buck and Doug Pitt (Brad Pitt’s brother). Pitt was in town as a Goodwill Ambassador building a sustainable water well. Buck was there assisting Pitt. That evening they spoke about the country’s scarcity of clean drinking water.

After such an amazing experience, Long didn’t want to simply come home and have that experience there and do nothing for the country. A little internet research yielded World Serve International (WSI), an organization that has been building clean water wells in Africa for decades. WSI does all the ground work for locating clean water and digging the wells. Water is indispensable to living creatures and this country needed more access to it. Long found his calling off the field.

In May 2015 Chris launched the Chris Long Foundation to help raise money for the Waterboys.org Initiative, dedicated to raising money to dig those all-important water wells.

Instead of simply writing a check in support, Long opted to engage players around the league to raise both awareness and involvement. Leading up to the 2015 Foundation launch, the goal was to fund and dig 32 wells, each representing the 32 NFL teams. That goal was finally achieved in February 2018.

As of today, the Long Foundation with the support of numerous pro players, have funded 62 water wells, with a long term goal of building enough wells to serve 1 million people (roughly 133 wells).

Your ability to help is just a 6-pack or a pint away.

Long and his wife Megan O’Malley were married in Champion’s hometown in 2013. Nearby was Hunter Smith, founder of Champion Brewing in Charlottesville, Virginia and incidentally a New England Patriots fan. When Nicole Woodie with the Chris Long Foundation reached out to Hunter about a beer with Waterboys in mind, she had no idea Smith was had already been following Chris Long’s career and knew of the foundation.  According to Hunter, a collaboration like this was a no brainer. “Brew a beer with Chris Long, putting the importance of clean water in focus, with part of the proceeds Waterboys.org. I couldn’t be more excited,” he said.

Chris Long is no stranger to beer. We’re told Sierra Nevada Torpedo is frequently found in his fridge and was the inspiration for Champion Waterboys IPA.

This American IPA sis build on Vienna and Munich malts, with hop-stars Summit, Mosaic, Huell Melon, Simcoe (plus some experimental varieties in the dry-hop). The goal was to create an IPA that was both tropical and juicy yet approachable. Think of it falling somewhere between a West Coast IPA and the new juicy, hazy beers.

Champion Brewing Waterboys IPA is hitting shelves and taps now for a limited time in 12-ounce cans and draft across the brewery’s entire distribution footprint.

Yeah, there are 8,000 breweries out there now, with many making some great beer choices. Champion Brewing and Chris Long combined a passion for hops and helping people in one place. All you have to do is pour.

Count your blessings and drink in good health.

Style: IPA
Hops: Mosaic, Huell Melon, Summit, Simcoe
Malts: Vienna, Munich

Availability: 12oz Cans, Draft. Aug-Oct
Debut: August 2019

7% ABV

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