Water, essential to life and brewing

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Water, essential to life and brewing

World Water Day, on March 22 each year, is about taking action to tackle the world water crisis.

You may know that brewing beer is a water intensive process. A brewery could have several uses for water such as process cooling, washing of containers and process equipment, mashing and sparging, line and filler flushing, and floor washing, to name a few.

It’s good news that, even with the growing amount of beer being produced in Canada, the overall amount of water used by Canadian brewers has significantly decreased.

In the past 20 years, brewers have cut their water usage by half, through improved water management practices and processes, including more efficient hot-water rinsing methods, reclaiming of water for use in cooling and rinsing, and new technology and equipment. 

Specific water consumption (SWC) is a common measure, expressed as a ratio of hectolitre (1 hL = 100 litres) of water to hectolitre of beer. In Canada, SWC generally averages 5.6 hL/hL or better. To better protect this important resource, brewers have invested heavily to improve the quality of discharged water, meeting or exceeding regulated standards.  

Working with industry and Natural Resources Canada, we produced a guide to provide brewers of all sizes with advice to improve water management, the quality of water discharged and energy efficiency. 

Water is essential for life and access to good quality water is critical to brewing. After all beer is 90% water.

View the guide here and take action for World Water Day here.
Find out more about water and beer’s natural ingredients here.