No water means no paddling and no beer

Sweetwater Paddle Board

No water means no paddling and no beer

BOTE and SweetWater Brewing Company have teamed up to raise money for Waterkeeper Alliance, whose mission is to defend their communities against anyone who threatens their right to clean water and to protect the world’s waterways. BOTE Boards and SweetWater Brewery have been making limited edition co-branded boards for a few years now, while SweetWater has been actively supporting Waterkeeper Alliance since 1999 through their “Save our Water” campaign. To bring all 3 organizations together for one great cause was a natural evolution. BOTE Boards has created an exclusive tco-branded stand up paddle board with SweetWater and Waterkeeper Alliance where 10% of the sales from every board sold goes directly to Waterkeeper Alliance to further their efforts to protect our waterways.



BOTE Boards was born in 2009 and began collaboration with SweetWater in 2012. SweetWater raised over $100,000 last year through local and national efforts with their “Save our Water” campaign, and BOTE is excited to help the cause.

For the past year, SweetWater, BOTE, and the Waterkeeper Alliance have been working on a collaboration to raise money and awareness for the Waterkeeper Alliance. The platform is a kick-ass, one of a kind (well, one of a few hundred), SweetWater Tie-dyed Lowrider BOTE Boards. The partnership makes perfect sense. BOTE makes paddleboards that are used on the water, SweetWater makes beer from the water and the Waterkeeper Alliance strives to protect the water...we clearly have a lot in common, and honestly should have teamed up a lot sooner! The goal is to raise proceeds by selling these unique boards, so people can continue to enjoy them on their local waters. With 10% of every board sold, we expect to contribute close to $20,000, which will add to SweetWater’s annual campaign goal of more than $150,000 in 2015.

"BOTE Boards and SweetWater Brewing Company are two of the best partners any group could ask for, we are thrilled for their continued support and we can't wait to see the special edition Waterkeeper Alliance boards from BOTE/SweetWater on waterways around the country this year," said Marc Yaggi, executive director of Waterkeeper Alliance. "While these groups sure know how to have fun, they are just as serious as we are about the need to protect swimmable, fishable and drinkable water, a necessary component of a day of paddling and of course great beers!"
After the project was in place, it was time to get some content to promote it!

To launch this collaboration, cold weather be damned, BOTE Boards snatched up photogapher Sean Murphy and took a road trip to the SweetWater Brewery in Atlanta, GA because no water, means no paddling and (gasp!) no beer.

FINAL DESTINATION: SweetWater Brewery’s 18th Anniversary Party.

Our buds Doug Wright and Steve Farace, at SweetWater, suggested we make the trip up and shoot all of our video and stills during their biggest party of the year, the anniversary party. It's been an annual tradition that originated as a Better Late than Never Christmas party, turned Birthday, turned Anniversary celebration that basically ends up being a big-ass party at the brewery with 3000 of their fans and friends. It was the perfect setting.  

WHY: To obtain badass content.

SweetWater Brewery is based in Atlanta, GA is one of the biggest and best small breweries in the Southeast, if not the entire country. This is a bad ass project, and bad ass content was imperative for the collaboration, and everyone agreed that getting up close and personal shots in the brewery, would be one of the coolest ways to showcase the partnership. Not to mention the surrounding culture that Atlanta has to offer.

ROAD TRIPPING: 331 miles

We left BOTE Headquarters at the crack of dawn, and were making great time, but Sean Murphy will never pass up an adventure shoot opportunity. We pulled over in Opp, Alabama for a frigid impromtu paddle on Lake Frank Jackson. It was cold, but cool.

We arrived in Atlanta on Friday and went straight to the brewery where Doug Wright, Director of Merchandising at SweetWater, welcomed the BOTE crew to the brewery with a beer, open arms, and the freedom to take over the brewery in order to get the content we truly needed to make sure this project goes looks as spectacular as the organization that it supports.

We decided to first do a walking/informational tour without gear so we could get our bearings, and ideas to set-up some shots. So with our gear left behind, we began and sensory overload commenced. Millions of gallons of beer, oompa loompas, and the high pitch hum of glass beer bottles being filled, capped, labeled, and boxed at 100 miles an hour to start! We immediately run and gather our equipment, got some killer shots of the board in the brewery, (and on top of the brewery) and most importantly, met the cool people responsible for making such fine beer...and collectively probably drank 100 beers!
The rest of Friday was a blur- Did we actually go to the Clermont Lounge… before 10PM? Yikes!

Doug, who is also heading the collaboration project for SweetWater says, “The quality that Corey and the BOTE team put not only into the design of their boards but also into the way they present the brand is undeniable. The boards are beautiful. Period. And the function on the water is unparalleled whether touring, fishing, or just paddling for fun. At SweetWater we hang our hats on the quality of our brand. We believe that our brews need in the freshest, tastiest way possible. Likewise, the way our brand is perceived in market or used on a piece of merchandise must match the same commitment to quality. BOTE boards clearly shares this value therefore partnering on a high impact piece like the collaboration board was an obvious choice. Luckily we get to use this beautiful board to raise money for an organization like the Waterkeeper Alliance, so our common resource (water) is continued to be cared for.”

IT WAS 37 DEGREES: Way down yonder on the Chattahoochee!

Our vision for Saturday was to hook up with the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (CRK) to get some cool pics and video of the whole gang paddling our sweet boards on the Chattahoochee. To begin Saturday’s journey, we headed to the brewery, where SweetWater was awesome to let us store our boards with the brews, and again, Doug was naturally waiting with beers. Before the first sip was even taken, SLAM! Our keys were locked in the van! So beers were put down, the locksmiths were called, after an hour waiting we finally headed towards Morgan Falls. The CRK was there waiting for us and Bonus! The CRK brought their official Riverkeeper boat to literally add some “vroom” to our shoot! It was overcast, cold, and by cold- it did snow the day before… but we hiked up our big girl pants and paddled out on the Chattahoochee. Sean and his shenanigans brought us to a half underwater marsh of mud and poo… literally, and got us to participate in some ridiculous stunts that were sure to make for killer content. Before the shoot was over, Sean proved no lack of commitment having immersed himself in icy water to get the perfect shots.


The paddle shoot was in the bag and we packed up and headed to “Go with the Flow” in Roswell, GA, one of BOTE’s best Atlanta area dealers. Just days before, they had received two of the special SweetWater/BOTE/Waterkeeper Alliance boards, so we thought it would be cool to pay them a surprise visit complete with FREE SweetWater beer, and a BIG thank you for supporting the program. The guys at the shop were super surprised, super cool and welcoming, and very appreciative of the gifts. It was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. We love our dealers and want to take the utmost care of them. But we do want to extend a sincere apology to Historic Roswell for blocking the road for so long!


Saturday night turned into an off the wall (literally) Atlanta shoot, set to the soundtrack of Queens of the Stoneage blasting out of our signature van, The Mule. Atlanta is crawling with badass graffiti, again literally, and set the stage for shots that you could only dream of… or see in a nightmare. We also decided to pay another surprise visit to one of our great Surf Expo friends, Doog Becker. When Doog isn't running around the tradeshow floors of Surf Expo, he is putting all his creativity and energy into his gallery, doogallery. We knew his gallery was in Atlanta, so we all thought- When in Rome! He was elated that the BOTE crew came to see him!


Sunday was the big bash. We got a late start thanks to two days of free beers, but still managed to be early to the party. To say we made an entrance, would be a HUGE understatement. Sean, along with our videographers decided it would be a great idea to get footage arriving to the brewery with everyone causing a scene while hanging out of windows and riding on the side of The Mule...a little scary but just more commitment from the BOTE team to get the perfect shot! After about 17 circles around the brewery, we finally made it in. With a packed house, beer flowing, and The Revivalists on stage; the sold out party, was a party to not be forgotten. If you do the math- when you know how to brew awesome beer, you know how to throw an awesome party!  SweetWater was more than welcoming and accommodating, they made us feel like we were at home and ensured that we had a killer time and were able to get the shots and content we envisioned for this project. We couldn’t have asked for more… really we couldn’t have asked for any more beers. 


SweetWater would not let us move into the brewery, so we were forced to abandon ship at 5AM, in the rain, on Monday morning with massive hangovers, which made for a super not awesome 5 hour ride home back to the office. Thanks SweetWater!

All-in-all it was an extremely successful trip, from forming new relationships, to 100% killing it with the overwhelming content we gathered. And in all seriousness, putting life to one of the most amazing fundraising and awareness campaigns we've been a part of. It's going to rock!

BOTE Boards Co-Founder Corey Cooper adds, “Both of our industries, SUP and Beer, depend on clean water.  Throughout the country, several of our retailer’s sales have been adversely affected by the health of their local water systems.  Obviously stand up paddling isn’t the only reason we need to protect our water systems, but it gives us a great platform to raise awareness and money for the cause.  I couldn’t be happier for the direction of the partnership and look forward to helping the cause as much as possible.” 


No water, means no paddling, and no beer.

Check out more photos from the weekend on our Facebook Page.

The exclusive BOTE, SweetWater, and Waterkeeper boards can be purchased HERE, or at a local BOTE Boards dealership.



For more information please contact:
Tiffany Clemons / Special Projects Coordinator
BOTE Boards
505 Mary Esther Cutoff NW
Fort Walton Beach, FL

Phone: 850-460-3048






Published on Thursday, April 02, 2015 in Announcements, Events, News, Stories