Brewing beer is a reduction, meaning that a less concentrated substance is turned into a more concentrated one. Also, because brewing beer deals with live bacteria (yeast), sanitation is a primary concern for brewers. All this means they need a lot of water to make beer. Typically, brewers use about 6 to 8 gallons of water for each gallon of beer produced, although many environmentally friendly craft breweries have been able to get this ratio down to 3.5 to 1. Also, many breweries are experimenting with new ways to tap into unclaimed nutrients which are wasted in the brewing process.
According to a beer producer (link in citation), the production of beer strains water resources because for every 1 barrel of beer produced, 8 barrels of water have to be used. These go toward, cleaning, “boiling off”, non-contact cooling water, and the water actually in the beer. Obviously, with heavy consumption of beer worldwide means that 8 times as much water is being consumed just to make that beer.
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