Beer drinkers everywhere in the city agree that Lake Havasu has a bright future. It’s particularly obvious in local stores and bars where the city’s rising stars under age 40 are being honored with a new locally-brewed beer. Imagine the surprise of 30 businesspeople under the age of 40 when they were recently recognized at College Street Brewery for their efforts in improving and shaping the Havasu community.
Expecting a (yawn) wall plaque or perhaps a Lucite desk clock, they received instead a case of locally brewed beer with their names on each can. But not just any beer. This was a brew called Bright Future Mandarin Pale Ale developed in a collaborative effort by all four local breweries: Barley Bros, College Street, Mudshark, and Outlaw.
The America’s Best Communities (ABC) Vision 20/20 Team “30 Under 40” event, which followed publication of a special Today’s News-Herald supplement honoring the city’s top young business leaders, was part of an effort to highlight the young leadership, skills and talent that already exists in Havasu.
The breweries crafted the beer while the Vision 20/20 committee customized the label and came up with the Bright Future name. Aymie Spitzer, another example of young local talent, created the graphics for the can and the corresponding website.
“One of the basic goals of our America’s Best Communities project is to help slow the aging of the community and recognize those younger professionals who represent the future growth of Lake Havasu,” said James Gray, director of the Lake Havasu City Partnership for Economic Development.
“Honoring Lake Havasu’s next generation of leaders could take us one step closer toward reversing a trend of ‘demographic starvation’ in Havasu – the aging and retirement of the present workforce, many who are baby boomers and older, without a younger workforce to replace it,” Gray continues, “We wanted a fun, unique way to highlight the millennials in our city. Since the city already has a thriving microbrewery scene, we thought a special brew could help us recognize our future business leaders in a way that expresses our appreciation for their talent.”
Gray is spearheading Lake Havasu’s entry in the America’s Best Communities competition. The city, which has already received $100,000, is one of eight finalists vying for a $3.5 million top prize that will go towards improving the quality of life here. The top three winning cities will be announced in April 2017. “Creating Bright Future Ale was a fun way to think outside the box, or in this instance, the case, and change the narrative of an aging workforce by emphasizing the city’s young talent pool,” Gray said.
If you were wondering, Bright Future is a brisk and bright pale ale that utilizes the unique citrus flavor and aroma of the Bavaria Mandarina hop variety. The pale ale was dry hopped with 30 lbs. of Bavaria Mandarina to achieve the subtle hint of mandarin orange and citrus notes. The beer finishes at a 5.7% alcohol by volume (AVB), with a mild bitterness and bold aroma.
Bright Future has a limited run. When it sells out you’ll have to wait until a new crop of leaders are selected for the 2017 awards. Until then, raise a glass and toast to our future.
Watch the video and see the list of award winners here:
Bright Future Mandarin Pale Ale
Learn about the local breweries and distilleries at golakehavasu.com