One of Colorado’s Best Breweries Is Helping to Clean Up Its Local Water

By Chris Mah |

© Dorling Kindersley ltd / Alamy

Avery Brewing Company is known for its expansive portfolio of stouts, Belgian-style brews and IPAs (if you can get your hands on some Maharaja, you should do it), but now the brewery’s hometown of Boulder, Colorado, is looking to them for an unlikely reason: its waste.

Currently, Boulder wants to reduce the amount of nitrate in its water treatment process. While nitrate is regularly found in both foods and drinking water, too much of it can be dangerous to infants and pregnant women. To eliminate nitrate, treatment plants use bacteria to feed on the unwanted contaminant. But those bacteria need sugar to stay active. Because of this, a water treatment plant in Boulder is teaming up with Avery to use its weak wort—the unfermented sugar water left behind during the brewing process—to keep the bacteria alive and active.

If approved, the plan could be implemented as early as this fall. The idea has the support of water treatment experts, and if successful, it could boost efficiency of water treatment as well, saving the city more than $50,000 each year. Of course, cleaner water is still the primary goal. An additional benefit? Better water means better beer. Maybe Avery will be the next to use recycled water to brew. We’d totally drink a Wastewater Wit. 

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