Fulton beer recently hosted a speaking event at their Minneapolis tap room with Friends of the Mississippi, a St. Paul-based organization dedicated to conserving the Mississippi river. The event focused on the State of the River, a report created by Friends of the Mississippi and the National Park Service to highlight the current conditions of the Mississippi river and the initiatives taking place to restore and conserve the river’s water quality.

The end goal? Continue providing clean water for Minnesota residents – and those across the country – who rely on the mighty Mississippi as their primary water source.

And for brewers like Fulton? To continue brewing good beer.

Fulton, alongside their fellow beer brewers, have a vested interest in water quality. Water is a critical ingredient in the brewing process, as beer is roughly 90% water, and quality water is essential to producing quality beer. During an interview with the Growler, Damien McConn, head brewer for Summit Brewing Company in St. Paul, stated:

“Breweries are becoming more and more aggressive about the quality of their water and about sustainability. I think we’ll see more of that. And I think it’s a good thing. You’ve got to have good quality water. And you’ve got to have it for quite some time to come if you’re going to build a business.”

Many brewers across the country have focused efforts on water quality and usage. Some have committed to significantly reducing the amount of water used in the brewing process, while others, like Minnetonka-based Tonka Beer Company, give 100% of their profits to nonprofit organizations focused on water quality and conservation.

In addition, many brewers have taken the Brewers for Clean Water pledge, showing their support for stricter water pollution regulations. During the SXSW Eco meeting last fall, Ian Hughes, assistant brewery manager for Goose Island Co. in Chicago, stated that the Brewers for Clean Water campaign “is a beautiful thing because it allows something so simple as a glass of beer to be a speaking point for the importance of clean water.”

Water quality will continue to spark conversations with brewers across Minnesota, as the state is on track to reach over 110 breweries in 2015.

Image: 1) Flickr/Bala Sivakumar 2) Flickr/Fulton Beer
This is part one of our series this month on sustainability in the beverage industry.