What if you could buy a beer that directly funded grassroots community groups fighting pipelines? Quebecers will get that chance this month, as the Coule pas chez nous! Foundation announced today an unprecedented partnership with over 20 Quebec microbreweries to brew and distribute an original beer throughout the province dedicated to fighting TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline.
The beer will be labelled Coule pas chez nous! and will carry the French tagline: “A beer for our rivers.” It will be available on tap in over 20 locations, and 12,000 bottles will be distributed to stores across the province. The session IPA is a limited release, and the beer will be available only for the month of March, making those pretty bottles an instant collector’s item.
Coule pas chez nous! is a coalition of 14 grassroots community groups from all parts of Quebec. It rose to national prominence in 2014 when author and ex-student leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois donated his $25,000 Governor-General’s award to the group and invited Quebecers to join him. Within a week, he had raised over $400,000 for the fight against Energy East.
The group is hoping that the novelty of a unique beer will help raise awareness of the threat posed by the Energy East pipeline to the province’s supply of fresh water, pointing out that a pipeline spill would be devastating not only for the agricultural sector, but for sectors of the economy such as brewing, which rely on clean water.
By partnering with the booming microbrewery industry, Coule pas chez nous! is hoping to send a message that many sectors of the economy oppose the pipeline.
“Many breweries take their water from rivers, and Energy East would cross 860 rivers in Quebec alone,” explained William Garant from microbrewery La Barberie in a release. “In case of a leak near a water intake where a microbrewery takes its water, production would shut down immediately. For those of us who have chosen to get involved in this campaign, that risk is intolerable.”
“When we started approaching microbreweries we were shocked at how easy it was to get them on board,” added Anne-Céline Guyon, coordinator of the Coule pas chez nous! Foundation, in the same release. “They immediately saw the eventual negative impacts of the Energy East project on their sector.”
“The Energy East pipeline threatens our tourism industry, our streams and rivers, our landscape and above all our supply of fresh water,” said Alexandre Caron of the Ras L’Bock microbrewery in the release. “That’s our primary ingredient. No water, no beer; no beer, no fun!”