Brewers Are Our Most Creative Conservationists

Battling drought through water-saving projects

The big beer companies are putting money into conservation, and the small ones are getting creative with brewing methods. (Silvrshootr/iStock)

In August, Anheuser-Busch-brewed Shock Top, maker of a Belgian white ale, announced that it would fund water-saving projects through crowdfunding site Indiegogo. It’s first investment: $100,00 to a startup that produces rubber bricks to put in toilet tanks, reducing the amount of water used with every flush. 

But that effort was outdone in October by Mavericks Brewing in Half Moon Bay, which as a marketing stunt created an IPA made from recycled wastewater, or gray water, supplied by NASA. The effort was designed to demonstrate the viability of recycled water, which is barred from use in commercial beverages despite being safe to drink. “If I can brew a great beer from gray water,” says Mavericks founder Lenny Mendonca, “maybe larger water-recycling programs will move forward.” 

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