Green Brewing Initiatives with Emerging Wastewater Technology

WaterWorld. Yes, there’s that one movie, but the WaterWorld we’re talking about is actually an online resource that reports on global water and wastewater news and technology. The website frequently covers developments in the brewing industry, including legislation affecting water quality standards. And, recently, the site caught our eye with its nice overview of water-related green brewing technologies. The article and site are worth checking out.

Right now, there’s growing interest in technology called membrane filtration. There’s also interest in bioelectric technology, and two California-based breweries—Lagunitas and Bear Republic—have already installed the EcoVolt system that offers up a 25% annual return on investment and generates more than 10% of a brewery’s water requirements with recycled water. Yet, much of the cutting-edge technology the article details is expensive, and may not lead to significant reductions in a brewery’s overall water needs—yet. Still, for those interested in improving their brewing efficiencies and doing the right thing by the environment, it’s worth paying attention to what’s out there, keeping tabs on how the technology progresses and how it’s working for the early adopters. This is especially so for existing and would-be brewers operating in particularly water-stressed regions.

Water, as we all know, is a vital but contentious resource. Mark Twain said it best years ago: “Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over.” And, as states become thirstier, improvements in green brewing technologies are not just good for the conscience—they’re a way to shield your business should dwindling supplies begin to create competing in-state demands.

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