The beer industry in the United States (US) is undergoing significant change as craft beer has grown exponentially in recent years. The number of craft breweries has increased threefold since 2011 (Brewers Association 2019b), and the US now features more than 6000 breweries of various sizes (Vorel 2017). As promising as this growth may be for the industry and beer enthusiasts, incidents of environmental degradation at the hands of breweries have persisted. This article draws from interviews with US craft brewers to explore the problem of environmental harm in the brewing industry. We focus on the consumption of freshwater and the disposal of wastewater, primarily within brewing facilities, but also across the beer supply chain. Finally, we consider the role of consumer-driven environmental consciousness as a mechanism to address environmental harm within the beer industry.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science