Saturá Lets You Save the World by Drinking Beer

By Andrew Cottrill . July 27, 2016


Need another excuse to go to the BRLO Brwhouse at Gleisdreieck tonight? Well if you do go today you will also be contributing to saving the world. Why? Because there’s a Saturá Impact Hour going on as part of Berlin Beer Week.

We spoke to Trent zum Mallen about Saturá, his company that aims to raise awareness for water issues and raise funds for tackling problems through drinking beer and having a good time.


What are you doing for Berlin Beer Week?

Saturá is the official Impact Partner of the Berlin Beer Week, so I will be quite busy attending events where organizers will host an Impact Hour as well as organizing some of Saturá’s own events.

What is an Impact Hour?

Impact Hour helps waterpreneurs all over the world by embracing the call to action: Go Out Do Good. An Impact Hour works just like a happy hour (but during that hour, a percentage of money spent goes towards water-related causes).

Impact beverages, mostly locally brewed craft beers, are served at Impact Hours in bars and restaurants, at a company’s summer party, Christmas party, at (beer) festivals like Berlin Beer Week or an event designed to highlight sustainability issues.

An Impact sticker is affixed to each bottle, glass or a sign on a dispensing unit or refrigerator showing that the establishment or the event host has made a commitment to supporting water entrepreneurs.

Who pays the bill for the Impact Hour?

The host of the Impact hour decides on how much of the proceeds from the Impact Hour he or she will contribute. Typically it’s between 20 and 25% of the revenues taken in during the Impact Hour or something like 50 cents to 1 euro for each drink. Each host is free to choose how generous they want to be based on what they are comfortable with.

What happens to the money?

Saturá acts as an enabler in two ways: By forwarding funds to like-minded organizations, like the Solar Container project in Mali which we have supported in previous Impact Hours. Another important way that I am particularly excited about is by sponsoring a Water Bus in Southern Africa. Over the course of 10 days, 20 water social entrepreneurs will travel with experts and implement methods that are well-known from the startup-weekend format: Design thinking, rapid prototyping, iteration and finally pitching their minimum viable products to angel investors. In this way we can support locally-grown solutions to real-world water problems.

What’s the difference between Impact Hours and, say, just collecting money?

The Impact Hour works on the “embedded giving principle”, where the funds come from the business and not from your own pockets. A certain amount of the sales price is forwarded to a good cause. I think this is much more uplifting and inspiring, not to mention sustainable, than the traditional donations system, as we get to do something good just by enjoying a beer.

Why is water important? Especially in relation to beer.

Water is the essence of life. We live on a blue planet. It makes life possible on earth. We came out of it. We are made of it. The challenge we face now is to effectively conserve, manage and distribute water. The most obvious reason water is important for beer is that beer is more than 90% water. The quality and qualities of the water used in making beer are essential for quality and taste. Beer is also a very water (and energy) intensive product, meaning it takes an enormous amount of both to produce it. Aside from the actual water in the beer in your glass, there is the water that is needed to grow the crops (grains, hops) and the water used in the brewery. Any brewer will tell you a great part of their job is making sure the rather complicated brewing process is as clean as possible at all times to avoid nasty impurities that can ruin a beer and also pose a health threat.
These things are mostly forgotten, but it all adds up! I always like to ask people if they know how many liters of water it takes to make the one beer they are holding in their hands. Do you know?


What got you interested in this cause?

Between growing up in California and Arizona, I learned to love and respect water: In California in the Pacific Ocean, in Arizona being amazed at how 5 million people lived in the desert with swimming pools and golf courses.

The planet is about 70% water. Only 2.5% of this is fresh water. Only 15% of this is accessible, leaving 0.007% available for 6.8 billion people. The population may reach nearly 10 billion by 2050. 1.8 billion people will live in areas plagued by water scarcity. 2/3 of the world’s population will lived in a stressed region. I won’t horrify you with more statistics. But it is pretty bad.
Now, our home is in trouble. Climate change is wreaking havoc on the planet. I want to do my bit in combating the negative impact water stress will have on people all over the world by raising awareness and investing in our common future.

What’s a Water Entrepreneur? What’s an example of work they do?

There are few sectors where ‘getting things done sustainably’ is as important as it is for the water sector. From drinking water and sanitation to water use in agriculture, industry and ecosystems, the contribution of social entrepreneurship to the sustainable use of water is immense. That said, one of my favorite impact enterprises is working in Mali (for full disclosure, we just happen to be supporting it as well ;-)). Solarcontainer from Africa Greentec produces a de-central, mobile off-grid solar power station that has a broad spectrum of uses. One of them is water treatment, filtration and pumping. For a lot of people in rural areas reliable access to energy and clean water is not a given. It is amazing to think of the dynamic changes that are possible when a village has access to 30,000 liters of potable water each day without walking long distances or using diesel generators for energy. From an environmental perspective it is a huge jump forward. And just think what it means for a community to have internet access, a place to charge mobile phones and electric lanterns for reading or working after nightfall on top of what we take for granted every day: clean water.

What is Satura’s ultimate goal/dream?

My dream will come true when the call to action “gooutdogood” is followed all over the world. I have more fun ideas I can’t wait to try out so stay tuned!

Do you also have to pay during an Impact Hour, or do you get employee discount?

Basically the host decides how they want to delight their guests during the Impact Hour. I am truly amazed at the creativity some of them come up with. It makes me feel really good that they embrace it and have fun with it. Ultimately, it’s all about communicating the passion they have for the drinks they serve and having a positive impact on the mood of their customers and our planet too!

Impact Hour at BRLO Brwhouse


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