Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Brewing water, Fracking, and the Great Lakes

I hope the brewers who read this blog know about this already, but if you don't: you've still got time to register and attend the Great Lakes Water Conservation Workshop next week (Friday, the 26th) in Rochester, NY. Water is the biggest ingredient in beer, after all, and water rates in the Great Lakes region are going up by as much as 25%. It would be smart to learn about ways to cut back your usage. This isn't a lecture, either -- you bad bad brewers, you must stop using water! -- it's smart stuff from brewers like you (from places like Great Lakes Brewing (Cleveland) and Custom Brew Crafters (Rochester area)) that talks real processes, real equipment, and real ROI numbers. Saving water means saving money.

If you Pennsylvania brewers are thinking that the Great Lakes don't affect you, you might want to consider the effects of the hydrofracturing that's going to be taking place in the Marcellus Shale. It's not just making millionaires in the mountains; it's potentially affecting water supplies across the state. Don't get caught short: there's a special afternoon session on the consequences of 'fracking.'

Rochester isn't far -- I travel there often from southeastern PA, and it's only about 5 1/2 hours -- and this is something that really does concern you. Get ahead of this problem so you don't have to catch up to it later on.

I've turned off the comments on this one; we were wandering off topic and getting loud. 

9 comments:

Al Luccioni said...

Fracking makes want to cry

Lucybeercook said...

Thanks for the post, Lew,
Hydrofracturing in natural gas drilling uses BILLIONS of gallons of water, creates massive amounts of highly toxic wastes (good bye trout streams and dairy farms). All too often, fracking mishaps leave rural residents and small businesses high and dry...

Happy side note: people who come to the tasting and reception at Pittsford Wegmans will have a chance to sample artisan cheeses, craft brews, talk with brewers and water policy folks. Tickets are $20, sold online via Paypal here:

http://bit.ly/dumUAb

cheers, Lucy
conserve-greatlakes.com

bett said...

I'm loving this one, Lew. Thanks for spreading the word about fracking. Folks NEED to know about this.

B

Lew Bryson said...

Sorry I got it up so late, Lucy; this event (and you) deserved better. It's just that there was this thing with the PLCB that blew up...

Lucybeercook said...

You're making history in PA, Lew, and I anticipate good changes ahead for the consumer & brewer - look at the impact on tourism and visitation this could have = good work!

charlie s said...

I come from Northern Lycoming co. so I'm getting a kick out of these responses. No seriously, fracking is evil, but explain that to the impoverished communities and folks I grew up with. These people feel like they have won the lottery. I have a vocal anti drilling friend whose property is perhaps the only 450 acres of private property in Lycoming county that isn't being drilled. He stands to lose an estimate of $100,000 per year.
The entire county is leased. Landowner rights are gonna win out over the enviroment this time.

Heh, my verication word is "manpoot"

Al Luccioni said...

Charlie S you can do what you want with your own land, but last time I checked state forests were the property of the entire Commonwealth that is what ticks me off so much

JP said...

I don't think anybody is trying to stop people from exploiting their own private property Charlie. I think most of us "city people"just want public lands to be treated properly as they are our property as well. In the long term, our water supply will be so much more valuable than these gas deposits ever will be. I believe 50 years from the "rust belt" will be known as the "water belt". This needs to be protected as once it is damagedit takes a century or more to repair . Also look where tourism ranks in this state as an industry in terms of total GDP as well as growth. Nobody fly fishes in Chartiers creek(except for maybe me) for a reason.

Lew Bryson said...

Much as I hate to...I'm going to turn off comments on this one. I should have done that in the first place. This is an issue that directly affects brewers, and if we could focus on that, that would be great. Everyone's made some good points up till now, but I've got some comments in the moderation stack that have become shouting. We're not going to do that here.

This will be a good conference, covering topics that need to be addressed for brewers. Let's leave it at that. Thanks.