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.
  • 08 Aug 2012 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    Craft brewers attending this year’s fifth annual Great Lakes Water Conservation in Chicago, IL, on October 4-5th will be among the first to glean practical advice, sustainability strategy tips, knowledge and more from the lead developer for the Brewers Association’s craft brewing industry sustainability manuals.  John Stier from AnteaTMGroup will present this year’s luncheon address on “Best Practice Guidance & Practical Advice on Sustainability in the Craft Brewing Industry.”

    John and his team are currently assisting the Brewers Association (“BA”) with its first association-wide sustainability initiative, designed to provide Brewers Association members with best practices, resources and tools.  Manuals on Water/Wastewater, Energy/GHG, and Solid Waste are designed with an emphasis on practicality and usability, featuring case studies, tools and resources directly from the craft brewing community.

    Chris Swersey, Technical Brewing Projects Coordinator for BA, notes:  “We took on this project on behalf of our members, who requested practical guidance and an understanding of sustainability issues within the context of a craft brewer’s unique needs and business setting.  Sustainability is a journey, requiring many decisions along the way.  The manuals and online interactive tools will reflect not only general best practices but also perspectives and examples from actual craft brewers, allowing members to begin their own journeys and make their decisions with confidence.”

    As part of his keynote, John will share highlights of some key concepts and practices learned, as well as the numerous sustainability strategies and tactics gleaned from first hand interviews and discussions with BA members throughout North America.  “Assisting the Brewers Association and their members in the creation of sustainability resources has been a rewarding project,” says John.  “I look forward to sharing what we’ve learned thus far with conference attendees, as well as discussing the possibilities the future will hold for the craft brewing industry to realize significant savings.” 

    About the Brewers Association:

    The Brewers Association is the not-for-profit trade association dedicated to small and independent American brewers, their craft beers and the community of brewing enthusiasts. The Brewers Association (BA) represents more than 70 percent of the brewing industry, and its members make more than 99 percent of the beer brewed in the U.S. The BA organizes events including the World Beer Cup®, Great American Beer Festival®, Craft Brewers Conference and BrewExpo America®, SAVOR℠: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience and American Craft Beer Week. The BA publishes The New Brewer magazine and its Brewers Publications division is the largest publisher of contemporary and relevant brewing literature for today's craft brewers and home brewers. For more information, visit  

    About John Stier and the Global Corporate Consultancy of AnteaTMGroup:

    A partner with the Global Corporate Consultancy of AnteaTMGroup (“GCC”), John works with global clients to develop sustainable strategies that deliver superior financial return and competitive advantage.  As the former Director of Corporate Environmental Affairs for Anheuser-Busch Companies, John has more than 30 years of industry experience in areas such as compliance solutions, management systems implementation, supply chain foot-printing, climate change mitigation, and sustainability strategy development. For more information, visit

    John also works with the Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (“BIER”).  Formed in 2006, BIER is a technical coalition of 20 leading global beverage companies working together to advance environmental sustainability within the beverage sector, focusing on water stewardship, energy efficiency and climate change. For more information, visit

    About the Great Lakes Water Conservation Conference:

    Craft brewers will convene in Chicago, IL, October 4-5, 2012 to learn about water quality, water conservation and alternative energy systems, with presentations by industry experts and speakers donating their time and expertise. The fifth Great Lakes Water Conservation Conference will be held at Goose Island, 3535 North Clark, Chicago, IL, sponsored by Briggs of Burton, Inc., The Goose Island Beer Company, The Louis Glunz Beer Company, Kegcraft Inc., AnteaTMGroup , and S. S. Steiner, Inc.  View the program and register online at (take advantage of early bird registration rates before they end August 15th). For more information, contact organizer Lucy Saunders at 800-760-5998.

  • 01 Aug 2012 2:46 PM | Anonymous
    Thank you to KegCraft Keg Management Service for joining the sponsors of the Great Lakes Water Conservation Conference for craft brewers and allied industry. Original sponsor Briggs of Burton USA, and the Louis Glunz Beer Co. are also supporting the conference, with early registration discount continued through August 15, 2012. KegCraft offers beer keg management and logistics services, beer keg rental, and beer keg leasing to breweries and brew pubs across the United States. Cheers! Lucy Saunders
  • 19 Jul 2012 9:00 AM | Anonymous

    July 19, 2012 - Craft brewers will convene in Chicago, IL, October 4-5, 2012 to learn about water quality, water conservation and alternative energy systems, with presentations by industry experts and speakers donating their time and expertise. The fifth Great Lakes Water Conservation Conference will be held at the Goose Island Wrigleyville Pub, 3535 North Clark, Chicago, IL, sponsored by Briggs of Burton, Inc., The Goose Island Beer Company, The Louis Glunz Beer Company, and in-kind donations from
    S. S. Steiner, Inc.

    Panels and presentations on Thursday, October 4, will feature installations for conservation and water savings at brewpubs, distributors, and breweries, on-site wastewater treatment, alternative energy systems, sustainability marketing, and more.  Tours on Friday, October 5, include a visit to the Plant, a sustainable business incubator on the near west side of Chicago, and the barrel-aging warehouse at Goose Island’s Fulton Street Brewery.

    Speakers and topics include Randy Barr, wastewater treatment, New Glarus Brewing Co., New Glarus, WI; Larry Bennett, water quality and wells in the Marcellus Shale, Brewery Ommegang, Cooperstown, NY; Rene and Matt Greff, owners of Arbor Brewing Co., Ann Arbor, and the Corner Brewery, Ypsilanti, MI, on sustainable energy and brewery retrofits; Ian Hughes, best practices for water savings, Goose Island Brewery; Mike Kallenberger, green marketing, Tropos Consulting, Hartland, WI; Matthias Neidhart, sustainable operations in importing and distribution, B. United Importers, Redding, CT; Katie Wallace, sustainability initiatives at New Belgium Brewing, Ft. Collins, CO, and more to be announced.

    Why participate? Water policy in the Great Lakes region – the source of 20 percent of the world’s supply of available freshwater – is changing rapidly. The Great Lakes Compact requires all water-intensive businesses within the watershed to implement water conservation practices.  This conference offers case histories and practical solutions for water and energy efficiency.

    About the sponsors:

    Briggs of Burton, Inc., Rochester, NY, (, are expert process engineers operating in the brewing and distilling sectors since 1732 and responsible for many high profile brewhouses and distilleries across the globe. This includes the most recent large-scale brewhouse in North America, a near doubling of capacity at Diageo’s largest grain spirit distillery, and a brewhouse for Carlton United in Brisbane, Australia, setting the international benchmark for water efficiency. Graham Broadhurst, Vice President, Engineering, says, "The correct systems design, implementation and operation is fundamental in reducing water usage and creating opportunities for cost savings."

    Louis Glunz Beer, Inc. has 124 years of experience as a family-owned and operated beer distributor in Chicagoland. Founded in 1888 by Louis Glunz in Chicago, it is among the oldest beer distributors in the United States. The company is owned by president Jack Glunz, grandson of Louis Glunz, with day-to-day operations led by five of his seven children as members of the fourth generation. As an innovator and trendsetter, Glunz represents Illinois’ largest portfolio of craft, specialty and import beers: 827 brands and 172 breweries worldwide. 

    The Goose Island Beer Company opened on Clybourn Avenue on Chicago's near north side in 1988, a time when only a handful of brewpubs existed in the Midwest. Living near Lake Michigan - of the largest freshwater lakes in the world - founder John Hall decided that Chicago would be the ideal location. By 1995, the brewpub had become so popular that Hall decided to open a larger brewery and bottling plant to keep up with demand. In 1999, Hall opened a second Goose Island Brewpub near Wrigley Field. Today, Goose Island brews an innovative selection of over 50 craft beers. Goose Island beers are now enjoyed in 36 states and Europe.

    S. S. Steiner/Hopsteiner started in 1845 as a small hops dealership and today is one of the largest international hop growing, trading and processing firms.  

    Early registration is $175 for Thursday, $225 for the entire conference, until July 31. On August 1, registration is $195 for Thursday’s presentations, and $275 for the entire conference. View sample of past presentations, sponsor opportunities, and speaker bios online at For more information, contact organizer Lucy Saunders at or via voice message at 800-760-5998.



  • 11 Mar 2011 11:08 AM | Anonymous
    Early registration for the St. Louis workshop is underway. We organize these all-volunteer workshops to help breweries save water and save money. Now, you can see what Goose Island has accomplished with their Green Line initiative.

    Chicago Beer Society member Ethan Sellers recently produced a short (4:30 minute) video about how Goose Island Beer Company's Green Line has reduced its water use in the brewing process by millions of gallons, through some relatively inexpensive but smart process decisions. 

    The results are at:

    Goose Island's Tom Korder has attended 3 of the 4 workshops and conferences organized by - and it's fantastic to see the brewery's accomplishments in water savings!

    Thanks to Goose Island for their vision, cheers, Lucy
  • 07 Oct 2010 3:06 PM | Anonymous
    Our media partner, Great Lakes Brewing News, shares a PDF of Madison's craft beer bar destinations
    And Jeffrey Glazer, editor of Madison Beer Review, has more suggestions for more beer-centric destinations on his blog

    Robin Shepard writes about beer for the Isthmus, and here's a link to recent columns ;
    he was also a speaker at the first GL water conservation conference in Milwaukee!

    cheers, and see you in Madison!
  • 06 Oct 2010 3:04 PM | Anonymous



    IMMEDIATE RELEASE - The Great Lakes Water Conservation Conference brings together craft brewers, cheese makers, and policy makers in water conservation, to discuss best practices for water savings in Madison, WI, October 18-19, 2010.

    Impending regulations from the Great Lakes Compact will affect all water-intensive industries, and will be discussed by leaders in water policy. Jim Nicholas, Director of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Michigan Water Science Center, will discuss water availability in the Great Lakes, link water availability to usage, and provide an example of Compact implementation in Michigan. Rich Bowman, Director of Government Relations for Michigan chapter of The Nature Conservancy, will talk about the current state of water certification, and demonstrate a new groundwater recharge calculator developed by The Nature Conservancy, The Institute for Water Research and Coca Cola North America.

    The keynote speaker, Todd Ambs, is the River Network's fifth President and has worked in the environmental policy field for more than 30 years. His experience includes serving as Executive Director of two statewide river organizations, Policy Director for the Ohio Attorney General and Senior Policy Analyst for the Wisconsin Department of Justice. From 2003 until becoming President of River Network in May 2010, Ambs ran the Water Division for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Todd has served on a number of water-related boards and commissions and was the lead negotiator for the State of Wisconsin during the development of the Great Lakes Compact. Todd Ambs still serves on the Great Lakes Commission, Great Lakes Protection Fund and the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association. (WI).


    The agenda also includes a panel on cleaning in place (CIP) innovations, with Graham Broadhurst, Vice President of Engineering at Briggs of Burton USA, Linda Rastani of Alfa Laval, and Pete Fernholz of Ecolab; Jaime Jurado, director of brewery operations for the Gambrinus Company, discussing waste-to-energy systems; Thomas Pape of the Alliance for Water Efficiency on conducting water audits; Stone Brewing Co.'s case history on wastewater treatment presented by Bill Sherwood; brewmaster John Haggerty of New Holland Brewing Co., Grand Rapids, MI, speaking on effluent reduction and Fred Scheer, Voith Meri, and a panel  with Karl Crave of  Crave Bros. Cheese Co., Franco Milani of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Brian Driscoll of the Wisconsin State Office of Energy Independence on waste-to-energy opportunities for brewers and cheesemakers.


    Sponsors for the all-volunteer conference include Briggs of Burton Inc. USA, process engineering experts for the brewing industry since 1732; Ecolab, food safety and sanitation products for the dairy, food and beverage industries; and Alfa Laval, producers of centrifuges, fluid handling, cost-saving tank cleaning equipment and filtration systems. Partners include the Alliance for Water Efficiency, Brewing News and the River Network.


    Online registration for the conference in Madison, WI, October 18-19, features a one day pass for Monday’s sessions at $175, including a craft beer and cheese tasting at the award-winning Old Fashioned Tavern, and the full conference including bus tours, is $295.00.  For more details, and online registration, please visit the conference website:

  • 18 Mar 2010 11:30 PM | Anonymous

    NEW! Watershed Exhibit in Expedition Earth —Opens March 19
    Developed by the RMSC with the Water Education Collaborative and the Monroe County Stormwater Coalition
    Investigate how stormwater pollution impacts our watershed, and discover how you can be part of the solution! This new hands-on exhibit reveals specific actions we can take to improve water quality in our community.
  • 16 Mar 2010 5:55 PM | Anonymous
    A nice recommendation for the workshop from beer writer Lew Bryson, author of many guide books, including NY Breweries and PA breweries. He's traversed the back roads of NY and PA often enough to know just what kind of impact fracking will have on rural small businesses such as farmstead breweries:
  • 22 Feb 2010 5:34 PM | Anonymous
    Thanks to Briggs of Burton Inc., headquartered in Rochester, NY for their generous support of the reception. The craft beer and artisan cheese tasting and reception will be held at the Pittsford Wegmans store, from 5-7pm in the Tastings special event space, with craft beer selections from attending breweries, including Custom BrewCrafters,  Great Lakes Brewing Co., High Falls Brewery, Ithaca Beer Co, Saranac and more, plus American Cheese Society gold medal cheeses such as Carr Valley and Yancey's Fancy. Beer buyer Mark Spagnola will be attending the event as well. Tasting tickets are $20 each.

    Thanks to Ecolab for their generous support of the hospitality provided by Creative Caterers at the Rochester Museum & Science Center - join us for a continental breakfast as registration begins at 8 AM,

    And thanks to the MBAA Western NY chapter, which has reserved the workshop date in lieu of their regular monthly membership meeting.

    cheers, Lucy
  • 25 Jan 2010 2:33 PM | Anonymous
    We are thrilled to announce that Alfa Laval USA is a sponsor for the Water Conservation Workshop at the Rochester Museum & Science Center. Both John Berardino, Brewery Manager based in Warminster, PA, and Linda A. Rastani, Tank Equipment Manager, based in Kenosha, WI, will co-present a panel on CIP processes for brewers and cheesemakers. Their support makes possible advertisements in Cheese Market News and Great Lakes Brewing News, as well as our space at the Rochester Museum & Science Center. Many thanks for the generous help from Alfa Laval USA!

    There are still sponsor opportunities for the hospitality breakfast, lunch, and beer and cheese tasting after the workshop. Please contact for more information.
Great Lakes Water Conservation Conference™                                                              Mailing address: 4230 N. Oakland Ave. #178 Shorewood, WI 53211
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