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Micro-breweries? Where does the waste go?

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I remember being on a tour of Milwaukee’s Jones Island site and hearing about the issues surrounding the brewery industry waste but also the balancing act required when Red Star Yeast cut back production there.

As folks who deal with the ‘stuff’ left behind – I’d be interested to hear about how different micro-breweries handle their left overs?

Last year The Bridge, a MI online magazine printed this article.

Wave of craft beer washes over Michigan

SAMPLING THE LOCAL FARE: Patrons of Founders Brewing Company in Grand Rapids enjoy some of the product of Michigan’s craft brewing industry, which continues to grow rapidly. (Bridge photo/Lance Wynn)

“Michigan’s craft beer industry is growing so fast that leaders of the trade association representing it can’t keep track of all the activity.

“I have no idea how many breweries are under construction,” said Scott Graham, executive director of the Michigan Brewers Guild. “I used to know about everyone.”

The association estimates there are about 140 breweries, microbreweries and brewpubs in the state, many of them microbreweries that produce fewer than 30,000 barrels a year. That’s up from just three in 1991.

Michigan ranked fifth in the nation in the number of breweries last year, according to the Boulder, Colo.-based Brewers Association that represents the craft brewing industry. The state ranked eighth in craft beer output last year as brewers produced 438,383 barrels, up 23 percent from the 356,780 barrels produced in 2011. A barrel contains 31 gallons of beer.”

This is of course  a water supply issue as well as a wastewater treatment issue but the options for recycling are based in history. Anheuser-Busch, the owner of global industry leading beers such as Budweiser and Stella Artois, has been recycling their beer waste since 1899!

And the opportunities for turning waste into profit are evident!


Author: WWHF Administrator

Executive Director. WasteWater Education Inc. 501c3

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