Dirty Water Beer

Dirty Water Beer is a for-profit charity using craft beer to fund's fresh water wells.

What's the big idea?

Dirty Water Beer (DWB) is a for-profit charity that gets a larger audience involved in giving, by using craft beer to create a new revenue stream for to build 3rd World fresh water wells. DWB comes in unique 5L jerrycans, mirroring the 40L ones used to haul water, turning a symbol of need into a symbol of action. The profits enable one 5L DWB can to replace the need for 189 jerrycans. Through Farm Africa, DWB will enlist subsistence farmers to grow an ingredient for the beer. There are many other fund-raising extensions, from retail sales to DWB parties at venues, to merchandise.

Describe the nearest player in your field.

The nearest players are distant relatives: bottled water that provide a percentage of profits; Ethos (5 cents,) Boxed Water (10%,) and One Water (a non-profit for PlayPumps Africa.)

How are you different from that player?

Fun vs duty. It brings a social dynamic with DWB sponsored events at popular nightspots. Different liquid - different audience. Beer gives a socially responsible choice where there is none. Our ingredients. Using subsistence farmers to grow one ingredient multiples impact by using two non-profits.

How's the world different with your idea in it?

Donations: With 45% of profits donated, less than 200 DWB cans will supply a well. DWB also creates a market for Third World farmers to supply an ingredient. Taking advantage of consumers becoming more socially conscious, we create a fun option at bars, restaurants, and home that encourages giving.

There have been 13 replies to this page

  1. Brian Glowe

    I love the philanthropic goal of this idea!  We share two common interests: MI beer and preserving our most natural resource.  Check out Loqal Refill.  Just a thought - while notable, you are offering a large portion of your profits.  For a non-profit this may even be overwhelming.  I would rather see your idea as a sustainable operation.

  2. Travis Rooke


    Thanks! I will check out Loqal Refill. Our current hypothetical numbers show this donation percentage as plausible and sustainable. However, if this were to change we would adjust accordingly and donate the maximum amount possible that still allows us to support our entire operation.

  3. Travis Rooke


    We are also able to maximize profits through merchandise sales.

  4. Chris Bogdan

    It’s a great idea, but the name doesn’t appeal to me at all. I have no idea what the product is about, and the dirty water gives it a negative connotation in my opinion! Think about it before you spend all the time and money starting the company.

  5. Travis Rooke


    Thanks for your input, Chris! I really appreciate your comments. I’d like to explain a little bit about our thought process in choosing the name, Dirty Water Beer. For us, it creates an association between our beer and the unsanitary drinking water we are working to clean up. Ideally, it’s also a name that will draw people in to find out what exactly we do and why our product is called that. “Dirty Water Beer” will never stand alone on a bottle or jerry can; an explanation will always be provided on our labels along with our call to help by donating 45% of our beer profits. Finally, the name reflects the personality of our company and the people that are a part of it - we love the play on how dirty water resembles the appearance of the beer we drink. It will be brewed by some of the finest breweries with a unique recipe (which I promise won’t include dirty water).

    I hope this explains a little about our brand identity. Feel free to continue the discussion or ask more questions! Thanks again.

  6. Leo Burrell

    I’m with Chris on this! Is the word “clean” useable in any form?

  7. Laura Willming

    This is a great idea, can’t wait to see it take off!

  8. Andrew John Matthews

    Cool idea.

  9. Cathy Swanson

    I like the name and that is part of the reason I clicked on it because I wanted to know more :)

  10. Joe Kim

    Love the name and the idea! Don’t change a thing!

  11. Kimberley Markoff Rodas-Mendez

    This project is so inspiring!  I also love the name, it immediately got my attention, and there is no way I would ever think that the beer contained “dirty water”.  The very best in getting this project off the ground and in a solid place.

  12. Eric Pennock

    Excellent idea!  The beverage industry has a large profit margin, so i see your donation of such a large portion of your profits as highly commendable, and a model for others to follow.  As for the name, i got it immediately.  “Good beer doesn’t look like water.  It should look like DIRTY Water!” (sure, go ahead and use that motto!

Sign in with Facebook

This idea was funded by public endorsement on May 03, 2012.