August 20, 2012

Reducing Beer's Water Footprint

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A cold beer on a hot day is many people's ideal for refreshment, but did you know it takes five times as much water as beer to make that beverage? Those five glasses of water would go a lot farther in hydrating you than the single bottle of beer.  What is the beer industry doing about it's heavy water footprint?

GreenBiz.com reports:

In recent years, most brewers have been using about a five-to-one water-to-beer ratio to make their beverages. But those figures are evolving rapidly. As water demand soars and supplies become limited, beer makers are rethinking their supply chains and sustainability goals. Two powerhouse companies -- MillerCoors and Heineken -- are focusing the best ways to reduce their respective water footprints. In its newly-released "Great Things on Tap" sustainability report, MillerCoors highlights some of its environmental stewardship and sustainability results. These include:

  • Reducing their water-to-beer ratio to less than 4:1 at five of their eight breweries..
  • Cutting water consumption by 100 million gallons per year at their Milwaukee brewery, through the use of a new cooling system that uses re-circulated water.
  • Saving 124.5 million gallons of water -- while increasing barley yields -- during the first year at its Showcase Barley farm.

We often don't consider the water footprint of the products we consume. Beer is just one example of how much water we consume beyond our home use.  As freshwater becomes scarce due to drought or higher demands on resources from growing populations, we will need to pay closer attention to water footprints.

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Attribution Some rights reserved by DeusXFlorida

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Posted by Jennifer Lance at August 20, 2012 9:45 AM

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