We Have Lost Our Water Culture

I recently attended a James Beard Foundation event, The Las Vegas Food and Wine Festival, at the Red Rocks Resort in Nevada. I was really excited to attend this event, until I spent two hours on a tarmac, a fat hour at the rental car counter (suck it Dollar!) and then had to go back to the check in desk four times because the keys apparently don’t work at a nice resort. I had a VIP ticket and was to begin the gluttonous consumption at 8pm, but sadly didn’t arrive until 11:30pm.

Which would all be fine, but even though Vegas doesn’t get going until midnight, it must be because that’s when all the chefs and fermenting savants arrive at their fancy destinations of leisure. When I finally got to the space for the event over half of the exhibitors were gone, and those that were left were in general packing up, and had some “leftovers” out. I would have written the whole thing off until I wanted some water, and I was sent to the table for Castle Rock Water.

I know, water in the desert, it’s going to be pretty welcomed no matter what, but this was a completely different experience. Where everyone else had packed it in or was somewhat terse, this table was staffed by the owner, Thomas Greither, who wasn’t going anywhere. They were stocked, staffed, and eager to share their vision. I was poured the water out of a glass bottle, and engaged in an enlightening conversation that made the long day completely tolerable.

Mr. Greither explained to me how America has lost its “water culture.” In Europe a country may have hundreds of water companies, but in America there are essentially only four, and they are subsidiaries of large corporations. I was recently reading about some of the false claims and additives of our domestic water companies, and have never been a fan of a mountain of plastic bottles, so seeing the glass and listening to him describe his company’s behaviors and ethos, I was enthused. Plus, most importantly, the water was delicious. We have a well at our cabin, that sits on a dune where billions of tons of sand filter the water we drink. We run it through a simple tap filter and it’s incredible, and this product brought me right to that special place.

Castle Rock water is sourced from springs at the base of Mount Shasta in Northern California. It is filtered by nature and bottled directly into the glass, never receiving additives or being touched by us human folk. The glaciers that start this water off 100 years earlier are expanding and sustainable, meaning they won’t deplete and therefore alter the nature of the product. Responsible, natural and some of the best water I’ve ever tasted. How TMD is that? The chemistry of the product has all sorts of nifty goodness to it, but I’ll let you check those facts for yourself. The company’s website features beautiful photographs of the source of the water, and all the technical information to accompany what I’m relaying here.


As a former student of economics, I’ve always been fascinated by the diamond-water paradox. Water is number two on the things we absolutely need to survive, and we rarely take it seriously enough. Mr. Greither’s passion, dedication and genuine concern for the health of our bodies and environment was as refreshing as the Castle Rock Water. I can’t thank him enough for expanding my thinking about this vital resource, and modeling what a responsible and well-conceived company can look like.

This page is mostly viewed by crunchy moms, and I think anyone who is genuinely dedicated to their family’s health watches stringently what they consume. Instead of complaining how Masto’s table was closed, or talking about how tasty those little apple cheesecakes I found were, I felt motivated to skip the superfluous and engage in a genuine reflection about the liquid of life. If you are lucky enough to live in this company’s distribution area, try it. If not, check out the company and find one similar nearby. And finally, just to show I wasn’t suffering from some desert delusions, I found out that Castle Rock Water won the 2014 “World’s Best Bottled Water” award.

Irony, went to Vegas, loved the water. Thank you for your time and product Mr. Greither.

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