Beer lovers worldwide are getting ready to celebrate Oktoberfest 2014 (September 20 through October 5). Some may be surprised to learn, however, that their favorite craft beer coming from certain drought-ridden regions of the United States, specifically, California and other portions of the Southwest, could be sold out during Oktoberfest. Certain microbreweries are confronting a major water challenge in meeting booming customer sales demand. Water supplies are shrinking during the relentless drought.
The current water-management technologies used at the average brewery require four to seven gallons of water to make one gallon of beer. The drought has pushed both the microbreweries and major beer manufacturers to install water conservation and waste water recovery systems by changing water nozzle sizes on equipment, using recycled water on bottle washes, and switching from metal to plastic conveyor belts such that the latter do not need to be sprayed with water to help the bottles slide.
The Florida-based (Sarasota) AquaNew, LLC uses an advanced water purification system for producing its premium ultra-pure water, under the brand name of Watt-Ahh®. CEO Rob Gourley said, “I realize that it may sound unusual that as a bottled water manufacturer, we can offer an innovative solution to the beer industry. The breweries interested in advancing their water conservation programs should consider our Technology which can be more economical and effective in both the recovery and reduction of waste water volumes.”
Some breweries have resorted to digging wells and installing expensive water filtration systems to combine groundwater with their natural river sources. One major concern of brewmasters is that the beer is susceptible to an odd taste when groundwater is used (refer to LA Times article by reporter Brianna Sacks, dated July 29, 2014).
Gourley continued that the AquaNew Technology could purify water coming into the brewery that will save the life of expensive reverse-osmosis membranes and reduce back water waste and energy consumption (lower pressures needed for the water to flow through the RO membranes). He concluded by saying, “The resulting purified water will make great tasting, more robust and sweeter beer while conserving precious water resources and keeping craft beer more affordable for beer lovers to enjoy.”