Clean water is a beautiful thing but no longer a given in this country, as Flint, Mich., showed us. Luckily, some municipalities are taking water issues as seriously as the craft beer industry, one of those being Philadelphia (home to the most recent Craft Brewers Conference). The city of Brotherly Love dedicated itself to green infrastructure improvements five years ago, and as a salute to this dedication, Saint Benjamin Brewing is releasing a beer made right from its tap: Baxter’s Best.
“Usually, when brewers work with municipal water sources, we make small adjustments to the water, such as altering the pH or adding minerals that the local water is lacking,” said Co-Founder Tim Patton. “But for Baxter’s Best, our brewer Andrew Foss designed a beer that tastes best when using pure, unaltered Philadelphia tap water. We simply filter out the added chlorine, then immediately get to work producing the beer, creating a ‘Colonial-style’ ESB that celebrates the city’s increasingly green water supply.”
Baxter’s Best is a dark ESB with roasted flavor and creamy taste, but still supple and light at around 4.5 percent ABV — perfect for summer drinking. It will be available on draft at Saint Benjamin’s Taproom and in select craft beer bars throughout Philadelphia. Baxter’s Best can also be purchased for take-out in growlers at the brewery.
Philadelphia Water’s Green City, Clean Waters program is entering its fifth year and said to keep 1.5 billion gallons of polluted water out of local waterways in 2016. What better way to celebrate than with a pint of Baxter’s Best made right from that water.
“As we celebrate the fifth year of Green City, Clean Waters, we recognize Saint Benjamin’s as a supporter of this revolutionary green approach and truly appreciate how much they value efforts to protect our rivers,” said Brian Rademaekers, author of Philadelphia Water’s Watersheds Blog and a homebrewer. “This beer is a really cool way of celebrating the quality of our source water while highlighting the importance of protecting Philly’s rivers with investments that make our water cleaner and our neighborhoods greener, more vibrant places to live.”
Baxter’s Best is named after the Samuel S. Baxter Water Treatment Plant, one of three water treatment plants in Philadelphia and the one that serves as the source of all water in the Kensington neighborhood, drawing water directly from the Delaware River. The word “Best” refers to the moniker British brewers used to describe traditional English session ales, and Saint Benjamin adapted the recipe for Baxter’s Best to perfectly fit the output of the plant.