A 1986 Coors commercial features the dreamy actor Mark Harmon on Colorado’s Guanella Pass, making his way through the snow beside a stream. “This is the reason there’s only one Coors brewery in the world,” he explains. “When this snow melts, it’ll flow through miles of porous rock and sand. This natural filtration helps create a clarity, a purity so remarkable Coors doesn’t have to do a thing to their water. Rocky Mountain spring water helps give Coors a difference worth tasting.”
Um, really? Coors ran variations on the ad for two more decades, but the truth is that the company’s water is purified. Viewers familiar with the Coors campaign may appreciate a new ad campaign by Breckenridge Brewery (video below). The spot opens with head brewer Bob Harrington standing beside a rushing stream in Colorado with snow-covered banks. Promoting one of the company’s beers, Harrington says, “Brewed with real Colorado water. Well, not this water,” he says, pointing at a small waterfall behind him, “Do you know what bears do in here?”
I appreciate the humorous truthful advertising, and the ad also got me thinking about bottled water vs. tap water. Tap wins out to bottled for environmental (so much plastic!) and economical (costly!) reasons. Transparency is another factor to take into consideration—not the turbidity of the beverage, but rather what’s in it. Different agencies oversee tap and bottled water and use similar safety standards: but while the EPA, which regulates tap water, requires water utilities to provide quality reports every year to consumers, the FDA, which oversees bottled water doesn't require bottled water companies to disclose that information.
Visit the EPA’s website to find out where your drinking water comes from, and what’s in it.