Here at Dogfish head, we’re known for brewing with nontraditional ingredients like figs, pears, brown sugar and grapes. Since we opened in 1995, we’ve mined the entire culinary landscape to come up with our off-centered ales, but there’s one ingredient that anchors everything we do: water.
As much as brewers obsess about their hops, grains and yeast, we use more water than all three of those combined. For every barrel of beer we brew, we have to pull 4.5 barrels out of our well. The math is easy: no water = no beer. That’s why we try to do everything we can to protect this precious resource.
“Like a lot of other small, independent businesses, craft brewers take stewardship and sustainability very seriously,” says Mark Carter, Dogfish Head’s Beer & Benevolence guru. “Brewing is so water-intensive that it makes sense for us to focus a lot of our effort on water.”
Here are a few ways we make the most of our most precious resource:
Yup, these efforts make us feel good inside, but in a not-so-roundabout way, they should make you feel good inside, too. Remember: no water = no beer.
"Beer is 90 percent water, and we can't avoid a certain amount of waste," says Carter. "But instead of looking away and plowing forward, we're thoughtful about how we handle it and strive to become a ripple in the pond of re-use and education."
So, let's raise a glass to Earth Day, and keep the spirit alive year-round!
These drums, which originally held ingredients for our off-centered ales, will soon be used to capture rainwater.