Buying someone a drink, a time honored gesture of interest, appreciation, or camaraderie, and now an opportunity to bring meaningful change to another person’s life and the world. Stella Artois has teamed up with Water.org, cofounded by Gary White and Matt Damon (yes, that Matt Damon), to help bring water to developing regions of the world where clean water is scarce or inaccessible. Buy a Lady a Drink is Stella Artois’ contribution to Water.org’s mission to save lives and empower people.
Buy a Lady a Drink is an opportunity to buy one of three limited-edition Stella Artois chalices, each designed by a local artist from three countries on three different continents: Brazil, Cambodia, and Uganda. For each chalice purchased, Stella Artois will donate $6.25 to Water.org, which is enough to provide clean drinking water for one person for five years.
Stella Artois will donate $6.25 per chalice sold in the US, up to 200,000 chalices. That’s clean water for up to 200,000 people for five years. Not bad for a Belgian beer over ninety years old.
Stella Artois was first brewed by Brouwerij Artois in 1926 as a Christmas beer. As a reminder of this heritage, the Christmas star can be found on every bottle or can of Stella Artois and on the stems of their chalices. The name Stella Artois is a combination of the Latin word for star and Sébastien Artois, who established Brouwerij Artois in Leuven, Belgium, in 1717.
Stella Artois itself is a recognizable and widely enjoyed Belgian Pilsner, that is, it combines the dryness and light body of a Pilsner-type beer (it can be argued the only official Pilsner is Pilsner Urquell from the town of Plzen in the Czech Republic) and the tanginess or fruitiness of Belgian beers. This can be chalked up to the use of a Pilsner malt and a Belgian yeast. The result is a quaffable, refreshing beer that’s fun at parties, or any event or activity.
Water.org was cofounded by Gary White and Matt Damon in 2009 after they met at an international summit on global poverty. Water.org takes a unique approach to empowering people and communities not through digging wells or simply providing other water sources but by helping to lower the financial hurdles faced by communities when it comes to sources of clean water. They do this largely through WaterCredit, a program through which Water.org provides microloans to communities.
To date, WaterCredit has helped to distribute over $369 million through more than 1.4 million microloans that have helped upwards of six million people in ten countries across the world. These microloans allow recipients to seek long-term solutions to clean water access, and are designed to be easily repaid. In fact, after more than ten years, WaterCredit has seen a loan repayment rate of 99 percent. Women make up the majority of WaterCredit’s borrowers.
Which brings us full circle to Buy a Lady a Drink. Women are often the most affected by lack of access to water, and because 92 percent of Water.org and WaterCredit’s borrowers are women, quite literally by purchasing a limited-edition Stella Artois chalice, you could be buying a lady somewhere in the world clean drinking water for the next five years. And not just buying her a drink, but empowering her to provide for herself and her family.
Stella Artois has been around a long time, and it will be around a long time to come. It is heartwarming to see a beverage that has enjoyed so much success and international fame is eager to give back to the world by partnering with such a well-established and successful philanthropic organization as Water.org. And Stella Artois has found a way to support local art and artists in the process.