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World's First 'Water Positive Beer' Now Being Served In Colorado

(CBS4) - Attention beer lovers! The next beer you crack open could be one that is helping the environment.

Costa-Rican based Imperial Cerveza has created what they call a "water positive"" beer, meaning every one made lacks a water footprint. The company is launching its new brand Imperial Silver and chose Colorado as the first state in the U.S. to serve it.

"It shares a lot of our values around the environment, biodiversity and social values," Imperial Ambassador Victor Rutstein said of Colorado.

So what is water positive? Rutstein said it is a four-step process involving measurement, reduction, compensation and creation of positive water value. Imperial first measured how much water it uses and made a decision to limit and conserve. Then the beer maker looked at ways to reduce their water usage.

"What they did is they looked at all their brewing processes, all the processes of their suppliers and they reduced their water usage by 44 percent," Rutstein said of the Costa-Rican beer maker. "They did this while increasing the volume of their beer by 70 percent."

Victor Rutstein
Victor Rutstein (credit: CBS)

For the compensation phase, Rutstein explained Imperial paid landowners not to cut down trees. He said that adds water to the water shed and the water then goes to the metro of Costa Rica.

"That got us to be water neutral," Rutstein said. "So, to be water positive, we have to give back more water than we use. What we do is provide fresh water solutions to communities that need fresh water. That brings us to a place where we give back more water to the environment than we use."

Essentially, Imperial is giving more water than uses by focusing on water recycling and investing in conservation groups. To spread their water positive mission, Imperial is collaborating with the Colorado Water Trust to help fund efforts to restore and sustain waterways in our state.

"We've invested to provide 62.8 million gallons of water to increase the flow of the Yampa River," Rutstein told CBS4. "That's 50 percent of the water needed there this summer."

If a country that sees upwards of 25 feet of rainfall a year cares about water conservation and production, Rutstein said it is important Imperial help a high-desert state like Colorado do the same.

"We are thrilled to be in Colorado," he said.

To learn more about Imperial Cerveza and their water positive mission, visit

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