We check in again with how the drought is affecting the craft brewing scene in California. The news, once again, is not great because as much as we all like beer and we all like thriving independent small businesses, we like a thriving planet earth more. With the drought continuing to worsen out in California, craft breweries out in the mecca of craft beer will have to continue to get creative and even consider leaving the state.
This AP story on ABCnews.com checks in with a few California breweries, such as Fallbrook Brewing Co., which had just doubled capacity to meet demand but will also have to cut its water use by 10 percent. One part of the brewery’s solution is an extra 310-gallon tank that will catch water used in the brewing process for reuse in equipment cleaning and a new chiller that uses two-thirds less water than the previous one.
The company last year pulled out of 15 U.S. markets and four countries after the Northern California town of Cloverdale informed the brewery it did not have enough water to sustain it.
But instead of moving, Bear Republic spent $466,000 to dig two wells for the town of 9,000 residents. It spent an additional $4 million on its own water treatment system, which uses electrically active microbes to purify wastewater, allowing the brewery to recycle up to 25 percent of the water it uses for equipment cleaning.
“We have to make sure to protect our future, not only for the community but for our 157 employees who have a home here — just packing up and leaving would be devastating to them,” owner Richard R. Norgrove Sr. said.
The company will be considering building a second plant that does have a more ample supply of water, however.
There are a bunch more updates on other breweries in that above mentioned story, so definitely read the whole thing. And, whether in a dire situation like those breweries in California or not, definitely check out some of the new technology on the market that helps make better, more efficient use of our most precious resource. (Read that last sentence to mean either beer or water).