On Wednesday, June 21 conservation-minded local craft brewers Saint Benjamin Brewing Company will celebrate the fifth year of the Philadelphia Water’s Green City, Clean Waters program with the debut of Baxter’s Best, a dark ESB crafted from Philadelphia’s own tap water. As a tribute to the success of Philadelphia’s growing green infrastructure program, which will keep 1.5 billion gallons of polluted water out of local waterways in 2016, Baxter’s Best is brewed with pure Philadelphia tap water, giving new meaning to “drinking locally.”
“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,” says 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% 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.
“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,” says 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.