My inbox is full of oddities – people urge me every day to buy everything from coffins to extra large water butts – and I’m sure yours is the same. But when I saw an email saying ‘Buy a Lady a Drink,’ of course I had to linger. One never knows where one’s next flute of prosecco is coming from, does one?
Sadly this wasn’t an offer of bubbles – or not the type I like, at any rate – but it’s all in a good cause and it comes from those lovely folk at Stella Artois. I’ve always had a soft spot for Stella Artois since those ads they ran ages ago showing artists like Van Gogh bartering their priceless canvases for a glass of beer. Though no doubt poor Van Gogh was revolving in his grave (I bet he does a lot of that, contemplating a billion fridge magnets of his chair self portrait, and remembering bitterly that he sold not one single item in his lifetime) I thought it was rather witty.
This project from Stella Artois is really worthwhile, as it’s in tandem with Water.org and the aim is to help the 663 million people worldwide without access to clean water. It’s a crisis which disproportionately affects women, as they are the ones usually allotted the thankless task of collecting water for their families. The aim is to sell a beautifully decorated chalice glass for your Stella Artois, at £4.50 a throw, which will provide 5 years of clean water for one person in the developing world.
In Belgium, the home of Stella Artois, everyone is very careful to drink the right beer from the right glass – they all have different shapes which are supposed to bring out the flavour. I know nothing at all about beer but if this were to catch on in the UK, with Stella Artois, we could make a huge difference to people’s lives, stop a lot of disease and also have rather nice glasses as well.
Ironically, since giving up sugar, I am a lot more tolerant of bitter tastes and don’t hate beer half as much as I used to. I’m not going to take up drinking it, though, even in such a good cause – but luckily I roped in TL who has a soft spot for Stella. As you can see from the pictures, the chalice itself is beautiful. I even got to open the bottle with my birdie bottle opener, which I bought in Denmark. TL shuns this girly device when prising open his beers in suitably manly fashion. I also loved the chalice packaging, so I decided to keep the beautiful frieze of a fish, hand and torrent of water, designed by Kenyan artist Wini Awuondo, and I’m using it as a bookmark. Having it around the house will remind me every day how lucky we are here to have clean, fresh water just a turn of the tap away.