Cowbell Brewing Co. Achieves World Class Standard for Water Consumption

World Environment Day 2020: Brewing Sustainably

  • June 5th, 2020
  • By Steven Sparling

My Mom used to say, “It’s the empty can that makes the most noise.” And the older I get, the more I appreciate her wisdom. There is so much great work being done, but there is also so much green rhetoric and self-congratulation about environmental achievement. Noteworthy “do our best” efforts and of course, the obligatory, “we are making a difference” claims. There’s a lot of racket and it is time to throw some facts in the can.

Four years ago today, we broke ground at the Cowbell Farm, Canada’s Destination Brewery. Rather than inviting a line of dignitaries to break ground with shovels, we asked Brandon McGavin, plowing champion and dignitary in his own right, to break ground with a tractor and plow. What else?!

From concept to completion, we have been crystal clear on almost everything, including our comprehensive, unwavering commitment to govern ourselves as a true steward of the land. We occupy 120-acres in Huron County, a coastal area blessed with fertile land in a region that was once referred to as, “The Empire’s Breadbasket.”

Cowbell honours this proud agricultural heritage, in part, through its all-encompassing environmental commitments, from one end of the business to the other. This includes the energy-efficient design of our Grand Old Barn, a custom brewhouse jammed with innovation, our closed-loop technology, a bunch of industry firsts, and a ruthlessly-positive TEAM that holds itself accountable for environmental achievement.

But we all know that the story of great beer truly begins with great water. At Cowbell, we are privileged to source our own water onsite, treat it, brew with it, treat it again, and then, return it clean to the aquifer. This is our “closed loop” and we operate with zero impact on the municipal sanitary system. Zero.

We are intentionally frugal with our water consumption. Beer industry averages vary greatly, but brewing one litre of beer in a typical brewhouse can require as much as ten or even fifteen litres of water. At Cowbell, we have only been open for two years and ten months, but our TEAM has already achieved something truly remarkable.

I am pleased to announce that at Cowbell we have achieved a miserly water-to-beer ratio of only 2.86 to 1.

This is a truly remarkable standard that meets the technical definition of “World Class.” I am so proud of our TEAM and our award-winning brewery - and we are just getting started. Going forward, we will publish an annual Environmental Statement for our mutual benefit.

Our thanks to every business that is investing in conservation. At Cowbell, we will keep doing our part and we know you will keep doing your part, too. We are in this together. And as you recognize World Environment Day, may the only empty can you have to deal with be the empty (recyclable) Shindig in your hand.


To learn more about our Sustainability initiatives at the Cowbell Farm, CLICK HERE.