Calgary brewers putting beer on hold to help conserve water

Calgary brewers are getting creative as they look to conserve water and as Phoenix Phillips reports, the good of the community outweighs business and commercial interests in these tough times.

Who doesn’t need a good pint on a hot day? But as major water main repair operations continue in Calgary, local brewers are doing their part to reduce their water consumption.

After the feeder main burst in northwest Calgary last Wednesday, the city’s message continues to be to conserve water. It means local breweries known for their high water usage have had to find creative ways to save on consumption.

“The front of house where we serve pints to people, we can use compostable cups instead of glass where it has to go into the dishwasher,” says Graham Sherman, founder of Tool Shed Brewery.

He adds the kitchen has been thawing food in the fridge with a little more planning as oppose to thawing it in water.

READ MORE: Calgary mayor worried water use ‘creeping up’ with restrictions to last another week

Big Rock Brewery say they have reduced their water usage by 40 per cent, but adds it was a tricky decision.

“The beer we have today is rolling into stores on Canada Day,” says Big Rock vice president of business development Brad Goddard. “It is a good corporate citizen choice, it was not an easy business choice, but it was the right choice for us to make.”

The city’s request to curb water consumption will likely continue for another week. Officials provided an estimated timeline on Tuesday for repairs and getting thing back to normal, noting they likely won’t start phasing out water restrictions for another seven days.

For breweries, it can only go on for so long.

“There’s a lot of breweries right now that are feeling that pain and are riding a knife edge of whether to stay in business or not,” Sherman says.

He says the longer it goes could mean the difference of whether a brewery stays in business or not.

“If we selfishly said, na I gotta make some beer….then somebody’s house burns down, we’d feel pretty bad as a company that we made a choice to put a commercial purpose before our community purpose,” says Goddard.

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