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Sierra Nevada Joins Craft Brewer Coalition To Safeguard Clean Water Sources

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and two dozen other craft brewers have partnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council to support strong clean water policies.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and two dozen other craft brewers have partnered with the Natural Resources Defense Council to support strong clean water policies.

The new “Brewers for Clean Water” campaign will focus on protecting the brewing industry’s key ingredient: clean water. While hops and malt can be sourced elsewhere, breweries depend on their local water supplies, drawn from lakes, rivers, groundwater or regional water systems, which the Clean Water Act protects.

“Whether brewers are creating ales, pilsners, porters, wits or stouts, one ingredient must go into every batch: clean water,” said NRDC Water Program Senior Policy Analyst Karen Hobbs. “Craft brewers need clean water to make great beer. This campaign is all about amplifying their voices in support of the most important protection for their most important ingredient, the Clean Water Act.”

In recent years, attempts to roll back Clean Water Act protections have endangered not just clean water sources, but also public health and resources for a wide range of industries. In joining the campaign, the brewers have taken NRDC’s “Clean Water Pledge,” which acknowledges the importance of clean water and its safeguards.

The craft brewing industry’s growing popularity brings a compelling business voice to clean water issues, NRDC says. Often seen as rock stars responsible for beloved brews in some circles and local employers in others, craft brewers are closely tied to their communities with an understanding of the impacts bad policy can have on regional water sources. While the participants in the growing campaign include brewing operations both large and small, they all have strong sustainability initiatives throughout their operations and beer development.

“As we continue to see the craft beer segment grow, we as brewers owe it to the communities we live, work and play in to be mindful of protecting our waterways as we strive for growth that is environmentally and socially responsible now and down the road,” said Mat Trogner, New Media Designer at Allagash Brewing Company.

Craft brewers are not the only ones advocating for sustainability. Anheuser-Busch InBev announced last month that it has met its three-year global environmental goals on water, energy, carbon emissions and recycling operations and already generated $420 million in revenue from recycled materials alone; and Molson Coors has devised an employment engagement initiative called the “Beer Print” to educate and motivate its workers towards the transition to a more sustainable operation.

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