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8 breweries in Michigan take ‘clean water pledge’

The Natural Resources Defense Council has recruited eight craft breweries in Michigan for a new campaign to promote clean water by supporting strengthening federal regulations like the Clean Water Act.

“When you talk about beer you have to talk about water,” said Jason Spaulding, co-owner of Brewery Vivant in Grand Rapids. “It’s not as sexy as talking about malt or hops or things like that.”


Spaulding says about 90-percent of beer is made up of water. He says if you want a great locally brewed lager, IPA or pilsner; you need clean water.

“Doesn’t matter how many hops or how much malt you put in it, if your water is not good your beer is not going to be good,” Spaulding said.

"Being surrounded by the Great Lakes here in Michigan, water is something that we've always cherished, and we never take it for granted," said Dave Engbers, co-founder of Founders Brewing Company, also in Grand Rapids.

If we don’t look after that long term it’s going to directly hurt our industry our livelihood,” Spaulding added.

Nearly two dozen breweries in the US joined the NRDC’s“Brewers for Clean Water” campaign announced today. The campaign is mostly promotional, but NRDC officials said there would be opportunities to lobby Congress on clean water issues in the future. The council wanted harness people involved in the growing industry.

“In the US we have a tendency to react to problems rather than proactively protect something like water. I can see there being uproar once an issue has occurred but if we can proactively support something like the Clean Water Act to assure that we have this resource for many generations I think that just makes sense,” Spaulding said.

Here’s a list of the Michigan breweries that have signed the pledge.

  1. Arbor Brewing Company (Ann Arbor, MI)
  2. Arcadia Brewing Company (Battle Creek, MI)
  3. Brewery Vivant (Grand Rapids, MI)
  4. Cranker's Brewery (Big Rapids, MI)
  5. Founders Brewing Company (Grand Rapids, MI)
  6. Harmony Brewing Company (Grand Rapids, MI)
  7. Right Brain Brewery (Traverse City, MI)
  8. Short's Brewing Company (Bellaire, MI)
Lindsey Smith helps lead the station'sAmplify Team. She previously served as Michigan Public's Morning News Editor, Investigative Reporter and West Michigan Reporter.
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