Editorial Letter

Feb. 5, 2020

This editorial originally appeared in iWWD Jan/Feb 2020 issue as "Brewing the Right Message"

About the author:

Bob Crossen  /  Senior Managing Editor  /  [email protected]

Beer brewing companies really know their water. I’ve come to learn that brewers large and small are keenly aware of this ingredient’s importance in brewing their particular alcoholic concoctions. More importantly, many brewing companies are great advocates for water reuse and water rights.

In fact, brewers in Vermont recently created an alliance called Brewshed to bring more awareness to sustainability in the brewing industry and to the beer-drinking public, especially in regards to water. Executive Director for the Vermont Natural Resources Council Brian Shupe said all the breweries that have joined the alliance have made a clean water commitment and have also showed they are in compliance with existing water quality and wastewater management standards.

That’s only one instance of this, however, as in June 2019, nearly 40 craft breweries in the U.S. submitted an open letter opposing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to not require Clean Water Act permits for pollution discharges into water ways through ground water. This letter clearly was written with business intentions in mind—polluted water doesn’t make for good beer—but it does also note the value of water to public health and the economy.

Approximately one year ago, Heineken pledged to reduce its water usage and to replenish and treat all the water it uses for brewing in water-stressed areas by 2030. And on page 12, we have a feature about how Stone Brewing Company in California uses chemical metering pumps to be as exacting as it can be in its mission for sustainability and water use.

Not only are brewers taking a stance on the importance of clean water to their businesses and communities, they’re making quantitative goals and taking direct actions to better their processes for this purpose.

What other methods and means do you think these companies could take to gain further reach with this kind of messaging? Drop me a line at the email address below.

Image courtesy Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia (ICIQ).
All images courtesy of Ecosorb.