05/29/2015 05:35 pm ET | Updated Jun 01, 2015

Anheuser-Busch Stops Brewing Beer To Produce Cans of Water For Flood Victims


A major beer company is swapping hops for H2O to provide drinking water to people in need.

Anheuser-Busch, one of the world’s largest breweries, stopped beer production on Wednesday night to instead package drinking water for Texas and Oklahoma storm victims, NBC News reported. Out of its brewery in Cartersville, Georgia, the company plans to distribute 50,000 cans of water to affected communities over the next few days.

"Right now our production line is running emergency drinking water instead of beer," Cartersville brewery manager Rob Haas told the news outlet.


Water production at Anheuser-Busch happens three times a year to help people in need, according to WXIA. The beer mogul is partnering with the American Red Cross on this large production to allocate 2,000 cases of water to areas devastated by floodwaters and storms.

"Oklahoma and Texas are in an unprecedented situation," Red Cross spokesman Jordan Scott said to NBC News. "There are a lot of folks in need and everyone's coming forward to help out."

While the severe storms have tapered off, Texas and Oklahoma are still experiencing major flooding. According to the Associated Press, as of Friday, the storms have left at least 27 people dead among the two states, with at least 13 still missing in Texas.

  • Russian River Pliny The Younger
    Justin Sullivan via Getty Images
    What It Is: A stronger, hoppier version of Russian River's flagship Pliny the Elder IPA -- and probably the most famous limited-edition beer in America.

    Where It's From: Russian River Brewing Co. in Santa Rosa, California

    When To Get It: February

    How To Get It: The bulk of the draft-only beer is sold at Russian River Brewery in the first couple weekends of February every year; beer lovers are known to line up for many, many hours to get some. A bit of the beer is also distributed to Russian River's top bar clients throughout the state in February -- but there, too, it usually runs out at light speed.
  • Firestone Walker Parabola
    Firestone Walker
    What It Is: The most acclaimed of the various limited-run beers made by Southern California's Firestone Walker Brewing -- and, like so many of the other beers on this list, an Imperial Stout. This one, though, features an astonishing, barleywine-like 14 percent ABV.

    Where It's From: Firestone Walker Brewing Co. in Paso Robles, California

    When To Get It: March

    How To Get It: Parabola usually makes it available, in limited quantities, to many of the stores and bars that sell Firestone Walker. Keep an eye out for stores that sell other limited-release Firestone Walker beers, such as Sucaba and the brewery's Anniversary ales, as those will be the ones most likely to get Parabola as well.
  • Cigar City Huhnahpu's
    Cigar City
    What It Is: An Imperial Stout aged with a variety of spices and flavorings, including two types of hot chili peppers.

    Where It's From: Cigar City Brewing in Tampa, Florida

    When To Get It: Mid-March

    How To Get It: Cigar City sells all (or almost all) of its yearly production of Hunahpu's at the brewery at its annual Hunahpu's Day in mid-March. Last year, so many people showed up to the event, and so many of them walked away empty-handed and upset, that Cigar City announced it would no longer be holding the event. But in January, brewery owner Joey Rednor reversed course, and announced that he would hold it again this year on March 15. Expect extremely large crowds.
  • Founders KBS
    What It Is: KBS stands for Kentucky Breakfast Stout -- a bourbon-barrel-aged Imperial Stout that packs a whopping 11.2 percent ABV.

    Where It's From: Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids, Michigan

    When To Get It: March and April

    How To Get It: 2015 will be the second year in which Founders releases a portion of its beloved KBS throughout its hometown of Grand Rapids during a special KBS Week, March 9-14. Bottles and kegs of KBS will also go out to good Founders customers across the country starting on March 30.
  • Three Floyds Dark Lord
    Three Floyds
    What It Is: A gigantic Russian Imperial Stout brewed with vanilla, molasses and, since 2014, Dark Matter coffee. (Before last year, they used coffee from Intelligentsia instead.)

    Where It's From: Three Floyds Brewing Co. in Munster, Indiana

    When To Get It: Late April

    How To Get It: Dark Lord, like Hunahpu's, is available only one day a year at the brewery: Dark Lord Day. It's the most venerable of these special release days, and is always thronged with beer fans from around the country.
  • Perennial Artisan Ales Barrel-Aged Abraxas
    Perennial Artisan Ale
    What It Is: An extra-strong (11 percent ABV!) Imperial Stout aged for an entire year in rye whiskey barrels with spices reminiscent of Mexican hot chocolate.

    Where It's From: Perennial Artisan Ales in St. Louis

    When To Get It: June

    How To Get It: Perennial releases its most acclaimed beer once a year, in June, at the brewery -- and they have a fairly complicated system for allocating it. Local residents are given a head-start at making reservations, and out-of-towners can enter their names into an online lottery for a chance to get a bottle. Each person who gets a ticket, through either means, is allowed to buy just two bottles for a whopping $30 each.
  • Surly Darkness
    What It Is: A Russian Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels.

    Where It's From: Surly Brewing Co. in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota

    When To Get It: October or November

    How To Get It: Surly hosts an annual release party called "Darkness Day," at which it sells bottles of its most sought-after beer. Fans have been known to camp out overnight to ensure they get a bottle. But some of the bottles always make it to stores that sell other types of Surly beer, most of which are in Minnesota.
  • The Bruery Weekday Stouts
    The Bruery
    What It Is: A series of rich Imperial Stouts named after the days of the week, including various flavorings. The first was Black Tuesday; the others, including Mocha Wednesday and Grey Monday, are variations of that one.

    Where It's From: The Bruery in Placentia, California

    When To Get It: October, mostly, but also at various other times of year

    How To Get It: You basically have two options: You can try to snag one of the limited memberships in The Bruery's Reserve Society, which guarantees an annual allocation of Black Tuesday and/or another Weekday Beer. Or you can enter an online raffle for a chance to buy one when they're released in October.
  • Alesmith Barrel-Aged Beers
    What It Is: Extra-decadent versions of Alesmith's already luxurious beers, aged (often with additional flavorings, like expensive Kopi Luwak coffee beans) in oak barrels for several months.

    Where It's From: Alesmith Brewing Company in San Diego

    When To Get It: November

    How To Get It: Alesmith used to sell its barrel-aged beers at a one-day event like Dark Lord Day or Hunahpu's Day, but the logistics of dealing with hundreds of people became overwhelming. Now, the brewery sells the right to buy bottles of the beer online -- and then anyone who snags a ticket has to come to the brewery to pick up their beer.
  • Goose Island Bourbon County Brand Stout
    Steve Jennings via Getty Images
    What It Is: A powerful, sweet Imperial Stout brewed in used bourbon barrels, sometimes with flavorings such as coffee and vanilla added to the mix.

    Where It's From: Goose Island Beer Company in Chicago

    When To Get It: November

    How To Get It: Goose Island (which is owned, much to the chagrin of craft beer purists, by Anheuser-Busch) releases its best-known beer across the country in November. Certain bars and beer stores in major cities will usually host major parties, with lines out the door, the day of the release. But if you search hard enough, you can often find bottles of BCBS at excellent beer stores for weeks or even months after the initial release.
  • Deschutes The Abyss
    What It Is: An inky-black stout brewed with licorice and molasses, a third of which is aged in oak barrels. It's known for growing in complexity as it ages in the bottle, so aficionados often save their bottles of Abyss for years on end.

    Where It's From: Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon

    When To Get It: It's released every year in November, but Deschutes has recently ramped up production enough that you can still sometimes find it months later.

    How To Get It: Many stores and bars that serve Deschutes will get a few bottles in stock, so just keep an eye out in the fall and you should be able to find one.
  • Bell's Black Note Stout
    What It Is: A classic, dark stout aged in bourbon barrels for several months.

    Where It's From: Bell's Brewery in Kalamazoo, Michigan

    When To Get It: Winter

    How To Get It: For a long time, Bell's sold its most laureled beer only in 500 milliliter bottles, but they've been available in four-packs of 12 oz. bottles since January 2013. Many stores that sell other types of Bell's beer will have some Black Note when it's released in the wintertime.
  • The Lost Abbey Cable Car Ale
    The Lost Abbey
    What It Is: A funky barrel-aged American wild ale that many think is the best beer made by highly acclaimed brewery The Lost Abbey.

    Where It's From: The Lost Abbey in San Marcos, California

    When To Get It: Winter

    How To Get It: The Lost Abbey brews Cable Car exclusively for Toronado Pub, which has locations in San Francisco and San Diego. The Lost Abbey usually sends the two bars just one batch a year, which they sell until it runs out. This year, it arrived in February, but it's smart to check Toronado's website to see if they have it in stock. Until last year, they would sell some of the beer in bottles to-go, but when scalpers started flipping them for hundreds of dollars, Toronado started selling it exclusively for on-premise consumption.
  • Jester King Barrel-Aged Fruit Refermentations
    Jester King
    What It Is: Jester King Brewery has become famous for its wild ales and sour beers. A few times a year, they make extra-special versions by putting barrel-aged sour beers back into barrels with extra yeast, bacteria and beautiful fresh fruit, to make sour, lively barrel-aged fruit refermentations. The first and still most famous among them is Atrial Rubicite, which features hundreds of pounds of fresh raspberries from Washington state.

    Where It's From: Jester King Brewery in Austin, Texas

    When To Get It: Various times of year

    How To Get It: All these beers are sold only at Jester King Brewery in Austin, both on draft and in bottles. They're not released on any particular timetable -- just when the brewers can get their hands on the right fruit -- but the brewery always announces releases ahead of time on its blog and social media accounts.
  • Upland Sours
    What It Is: An annual series of complex sour beers aged in various types of oak barrels, many featuring exotic fruits.

    Where It's From: Upland Brewing Co. in Bloomington, Indiana

    When To Get It: Various times of year

    How To Get It: Several times a year, Upland conducts an online lottery for the chance to buy its revered Sour beers. Lucky winners can pick their beer up at several shops around Indiana.
  • Maine Beer Company Dinner
    Maine Beer Company
    What It Is: A super-hoppy Double IPA from one of the best-loved breweries in the Northeast; it's basically a souped-up, limited-edition version of the Lunch IPA they brew throughout the year.

    Where It's From: Maine Beer Company in Freeport, Maine

    When To Get It: About four times a year; the brewery announces upcoming releases on its Instagram account.

    How To Get It: Maine Beer Company brews about four small batches of Dinner a year, and sells them exclusively at the brewery in 500 milliliter bottles. Hundreds of people have been known to line up -- and even camp out overnight -- to snag a taste. The next release will be in April.
  • The Alchemist Heady Topper
    What It Is: A sublimely balanced double IPA that's long been ranked the best beer in the world on Beer Advocate. It's insanely good. One sip delivers successive waves of all the types of flavors that are associated with hops: rose, raspberry, thyme, grapefruit, cannabis-like must, steely bitterness.

    Where It's From: The Alchemist in Waterbury, Vermont

    When To Get It: All year long

    How To Get It: Heady Topper is one of just two beers brewed by The Alchemist, and they make it all year long. So unlike the rest of the beers on this list, it's not limited by time -- just space. You can only find it in Vermont. The Alchemist used to sell it at its brewery, but its popularity caused so many logistical hassles that they were forced to close the brewery to the public in November 2013. There are plans to open a new retail location, but until then, the best place to try is one of the locations listed on The Alchemist website; each gets an allocation on a specific day of the week. Heady Topper has also been known to pop up on the beer menus of other restaurants throughout the state. If you can't make it to Vermont, and are tempted to buy some Heady Topper on the black market, beware: Police have started to crack down on illegal scalping of this wonderful beer.