Great Lakes Water Conservation Conference

  for breweries, allied industry and water policy makers


  April 19-20, 2016 - Milwaukee, Wisconsin

  The Pilot House at Discovery World, Lake Michigan


Event news (blog)

Conference news, articles and press releases - comments are restricted to members.
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  • 23 Mar 2016 4:26 PM | Anonymous
    Kyle Cherek is host of the Emmy-nominated television show Wisconsin Foodie, currently running in its eighth season on PBS and broadcast primetime to over 8.2 million households.
    A born-and-bred Wisconsinite, he has been sitting up and taking nourishment since the Nixon administration.  He sees the Midwest as a font of history, craftsmanship, and artisanal dispositions; all of which are continually pushing national culinary and sustainability trends forward.  As host of Wisconsin Foodie, Kyle profiles these food treasures and chronicles the story of food through regional chefs, farmers, and food artisans.

    A true friend of beer, Wisconsin Foodie has profiled more than a dozen Wisconsin breweries, both for brewing excellence and food pairings.

    Kyle has made regular appearances on The Travel Channel and Food Network, and is a frequent media contributor to Public Radio, NPR, CBS and NBC. His widely-acclaimed video web series, Chef Talk with Kyle Cherek, features candid, forthright and often amusing conversations with some of America’s most engaging chefs.  In an effort to raise the people’s consciousness about food and sustainability, he regularly hosts cooking demonstrations and presents at culinary events.
    When not telling the story of where our food comes from and how it shapes us, he is busy enjoying farmers’ markets; geeking out over culinary history books; perfecting his five or so kitchen moves whilst cooking with his family; or patiently waiting for the chance to say, "Let’s look at the dessert menu, shall we?"

  • 17 Mar 2016 12:22 PM | Anonymous

    Dr. Tim Davis of the NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory joins Ian Hughes of Goose Island for a discussion of the question, "Why are our lakes the same color as our lawns?"

    Dr. Timothy Davis has spent the last 10 years studying the ecology of harmful algal blooms (HABs) through the NOAA's Great Lakes HAB and hypoxia research program
    Dr. Davis completed his Bachelor's of Science at Southampton College of Long Island University in 2004.  He then moved to Stony Brook University where he conducted his dissertation research focusing on understanding the environmental drivers of HABs in the several lakes throughout the northeast USA including Lake Erie and Lake Champlain.  After he completed his dissertation in 2009, Dr. Davis moved to Brisbane, Australia to continue his work at the Australian Rivers Institute.  He spent the next two years studying the ecology of the toxic HABs that occur in drinking water reservoirs that serve the greater Brisbane population of almost two million people.  In 2012, Dr. Davis moved to the Canadian Center for Inland Waters in Burlington, Ontario.  For the next year he investigated the water quality and harmful algal bloom issues in Lake Erie, Lake Ontario, Lake Huron and Lake Winnipeg.   Dr. Davis currently works for NOAA Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL) in Ann Arbor, MI.  He leads GLERL's HAB monitoring and research program which supports critical NOAA HAB forecasting products and is also an adjunct research scientist at the University of Michigan.

    Welcome and thanks to Dr. Davis, Ian Hughes and all the other volunteer speakers!

  • 27 Feb 2016 4:32 PM | Anonymous



    Breweries share systems to save water + energy


    MILWAUKEE (February 27, 2016) – The 7th Great Lakes Water Conservation Conference returns to Milwaukee on April 19-20, 2016. Brewers, water policy experts, wastewater engineers and agencies working on water quality will gather in Milwaukee, historically known as “Brew City” and now a hub for water technology and education.
    The two-day conference features water quality research as well as practical case histories on brewery operations for saving water and energy, including waste-to-energy and wastewater management.


    The full conference includes a welcome reception at Brenner Brewing Co. on Monday evening, April 18, presentations at Discovery World on Tuesday, April 19, and Wednesday tours to Milwaukee-area breweries and urban cheesemaker Clock Shadow Creamery.


    “Water consumption and wastewater disposal remain environmental and economic hurdles that directly affect breweries and the brewing process,” said Chris Swersey, supply chain specialist for the Brewers Association, based in Boulder, Colorado. “The Great Lakes Water Conservation Conference brings together brewers to consider innovative answers to water and wastewater management issues and discover collaborative, sustainable solutions for the community and for the environment.”


    The Brewers Association awarded a service grant for sustainability outreach and education to the conference this year. The purpose of the Brewers Association is to promote and protect small and independent American brewers, their craft beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts.


    “The grant enables us to offer a discount for early registrants through March 1st, which is a tremendous value for attendees to learn from brewery leaders and their practical experiences with water and energy efficiency,” said conference organizer Lucy Saunders.


    For more information on the conference, visit or call 800-760-5998. -0-


    The all-volunteer conference is made possible with sustaining sponsor Briggs of Burton, Inc. and the following 2016 sponsors:

    BarFly Ventures

    Bartolotta Catering

    Beechwood Sales & Service


    Brenner Brewing

    Brewers Association

    Briess Malt

    Goose Island Beer Co.

    New Glarus Brewing Co.

    New Holland Brewing Co.

    Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.

    The Sugar Maple

    Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board


    Participating breweries in 2016 include:

    Alt Brew (Madison, WI)

    Bell’s Brewery (Kalamazoo, MI)

    Brenner Brewing Co. (Milwaukee, WI)

    Central Waters Brewing Co. (Amherst, WI)

    Goose Island Beer Co. (Chicago, IL)

    Lagunitas Brewing Co. (Petaluma, CA)

    Lake Charlevoix Brewing Co. (Charlevoix, MI)

    Lakefront Brewery (Milwaukee, WI)

    MillerCoors Pilot Brewery (Milwaukee, WI)

    Milwaukee Brewing Co. (Milwaukee, WI)

    New Holland Brewing Co. (Holland, MI)

    New Glarus Brewing Co. (New Glarus, WI)

    Short’s Brewing Co. (Elk Rapids, MI)

    Sprecher Brewery (Glendale, WI)       



    F&B Communications LLC, Lucy Saunders,
    800-760-5998 / cell  414-828-5243

    @GLwater hashtag #GLwater2016



  • 08 Feb 2016 8:38 PM | Anonymous

    According to James Fallows, "11. They have craft breweries. One final marker, perhaps the most reliable: A city on the way back will have one or more craft breweries, and probably some small distilleries too. Until 2012, that would have been an unfair test for Mississippi, which effectively outlawed craft beers by setting maximum alcohol levels at 5 percent. Now that law has changed, and Mississippi has 10 craft breweries. Once-restrictive Utah has even more. A town that has craft breweries also has a certain kind of entrepreneur, and a critical mass of mainly young (except for me) customers. You may think I’m joking, but just try to find an exception."

    Read the full story here:

  • 11 Jan 2016 2:07 PM | Anonymous

    An interesting read on the rather rushed process to examine Wisconsin's first request for water withdrawals outside the Great Lakes basin - from Susan Bence, environment reporter at Milwaukee's WUWM:

  • 16 Dec 2015 7:33 PM | Anonymous
    Solar energy awards for New Belgium Brewing Co:


    North American Breweries plans sustainable brewery in downtown Rochester:


    Deschutes Brewery earns a sustainability award:

  • 03 Dec 2015 4:09 PM | Anonymous

    Agricultural Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the availability of $350 million to help landowners protect and restore key farmlands, grasslands and wetlands across the nation. The funding is provided through the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), created by the 2014 Farm Bill to protect critical water resources and wildlife habitat, and encourage private owners to maintain land for farming and ranching. Through the voluntary sale of an easement, landowners limit future development to protect these key resources.

    “The benefits of restoring, enhancing and protecting these working agricultural lands and critical wetlands cannot be overstated,” Vilsack said. “USDA is committed to preserving working agricultural lands to help protect the long-term viability of farming across the country as well as to restoring and protecting vital sensitive wetlands that provide important wildlife habitat and improve water quality.”

  • 17 Nov 2015 6:38 PM | Anonymous

    Interviews with AleSmith, Coronado and Stone Brewing Co., on the role of water conservation in Southern California's brewing community:

  • 12 Nov 2015 4:51 PM | Anonymous

    Thanks to Bell's Brewery Evan Meffert and Walker Modic for such a fantastic tour last year: we visited this wastewater treatment facility as it was being built.

  • 11 Nov 2015 4:46 PM | Anonymous

    Plans are underway for the 7th Great Lakes Water Conservation Conference, which will include brewery tours in Milwaukee, WI, April 19-20, 2016. Thank you to last year's tour hosts: Bell's Brewery, Hop Head Farms and Founders. Thank you to 2014 sponsors and donors: Antea™Group, Bell's Brewery, Brewers Professional Alliance, Enerco, Goose Island, Short's Brewing Co. and Williams Creek Consulting. Thank you to donors BarFly Ventures, Hopsteiner/S.S. Steiner and the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

    This is an all-volunteer conference, with costs offset by sponsors and registration fees, which are kept low through speakers who donate their time and travel. I hope you will be able to participate. Thank you to Briggs of Burton, Inc., the 7-year sustaining sponsor and to Hopsteiner and the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, for continued donations. Current 2016 sponsors and donors in kind include: Beechwood Sales & Service, Barfly Ventures, Goose Island Beer Co., New Glarus Brewing Co. and the Sugar Maple.

    Topics for this year's conference include advances in waste to energy systems, an overview of energy access and distribution within the Great Lakes basin, policy update on water regulations in the Great Lakes basin, solar and wind power installations to save energy (and Great Lakes water), brewery designs for energy recapture, landscape designs for storm water management and more. Practical case histories are most important, with insights into budget/ROI that can help business plans. Panels representing the experiences of brewpub operators as well as packaging breweries are welcome.

    Speakers attend the conference free of charge, and up to 8 volunteers (typically brewing/hospitality students or start-up brewers) are also given comp registrations in exchange for their help with registrations and onsite logistics.

    Please send an email to with a brief outline of your talk, your bio and bio(s) of panelists and, in 200 words, summarize what attendees will learn from your presentation. All presentations must include a brewer or brewery representative. Please send your presentation proposal by January 11, 2016.

    In the last year, mainstream media have covered breweries and sustainable use of water, including:

    The Brewers Association Sustainability manuals are available online, along with Excel templates to collect baseline data on water/energy costs:

    The Master Brewers Association of the Americas has announced the Brewery Award of Excellence in sustainability, with a $3,000 prize - applications may be submitted until February 15, 2016 - details are available here:

    I'll be adding more information about the conference venue and hotels in the next month. Thanks very much for sharing this update with colleagues interested in sustainable brewery operations and saving water!

    cheers, Lucy Saunders
    Twitter @lucybeercook @GLwater

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Great Lakes Water Conservation Conference™                                                              Mailing address: 4230 N. Oakland Ave. #178 Shorewood, WI 53211
© 2009-2016 F&B Communications LLC                                                                       Phone 800-760-5998 (voice mail)
Lucy Saunders and Tom Geilfuss                                                                                  FAX 877-790-3930
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"The economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the environment, not the other way around."
—Gaylord Nelson

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