Dec 11, 2019

New Belgium Brewery

This article originally appeared in the Industrial Water & Wastes Digest December 2019 issue as "New Belgium Brewery"

new belgium


Asheville, N.C.


142,000 gpd


Not specified

Facility Owner 

New Belgium Brewery 

Project Owner

Evoqua Water Technologies


Evoqua Water Technologies


Evoqua Water Technologies 


Evoqua Water Technologies


Anaerobic membrane bioreactor system, centrifuge, retractable geomembrane cover for membrane tank

Since 1991, New Belgium Brewing Co. has been brewing craft beer at its brewery in Fort Collins, Colo. New Belgium Brewing is the fourth-largest craft brewer in the U.S. and the eighth-largest brewery in the nation, producing popular brands including Fat Tire Belgian Ale, Voodoo Ranger IPA and Citradelic IPA. 

As part of its sustainability efforts, New Belgium Brewing wanted a more responsible approach to managing its water. This included installing an on-site wastewater treatment system that would generate an effluent meeting Asheville, N.C., discharge requirements. The new facility is sized to produce more than of 500,000 barrels of beer per year. 

Due to the limited amount of space available on site and the fact that the facility is located near a residential area, the system needed to have a compact footprint and mitigate any odors associated with the wastewater treatment. 

The ADI anaerobic membrane bioreactor system was chosen as the best treatment solution for the brewery based on the raw wastewater characteristics (a combination of process wastewater, spent yeast and hops), treatment requirements, limited space availability and the proximity of the wastewater treatment plant to a neighboring residential community. 

The system consists of a 330,000 gal continuously stirred tank reactor paired with an 86,000 gal membrane tank. It is designed to treat up to 142,000 gal per day of wastewater and generate a final effluent with biological oxygen demand and total suspended solids concentrations of less than 230 mg/L.

The compact system also meets noise and odor limits, preventing any disruption to the surrounding neighborhood. Additionally, the anaerobic digestion system is also producing 65 million British Thermal Units per day of biogas, which the brewery could reuse in plant operations in the future.

About the author

Cristina Tuser is associate editor for iWWD. Tuser can be reached at or 847. 391.1007.