Boston, MA, and Cloverdale, CA – Bear Republic Brewing Company, a family-owned brewery known for their high-revving IPAs and environmental stewardship, and Cambrian Innovation, a biotechnology company solving critical resource challenges for industry, today announced the successful, long-term operation of the world’s first industrial-scale, bioelectrically-enhanced wastewater treatment solution.
Bear Republic’s EcoVolt solution, comprised of one headworks unit controlling two anaerobic EcoVolt Reactors, leverages a process called “electromethanogensis.” In this process, electrically-active microbes efficiently treat high-strength wastewater, allowing for discharge to the city in compliance with local standards, and generate a high-quality, renewable biogas. A combined heat and power turbine (CHP) converts the methane into electricity and heat for onsite use, significantly reducing Bear Republic’s reliance on natural gas.
After only four months of operation, the EcoVolt solution is exceeding performance expectations across all design parameters, including treatment rate, contaminant removal, biogas generation, and methane fraction. It currently supports Bear Republic’s annual production of 82,000 barrels per year, treating 100 percent of their wastewater onsite. The solution has continuously demonstrated robust operations in the presence of traditionally difficult-to-treat craft brewery wastewater, and can easily expand to support the brewery’s planned expansion to an annual production of 150,000 barrels per year.
“It has been very exciting to see this system come online,” said Casey Chartier, Sustainability and By-products Coordinator. “Since its installation, it has exceeded our expectations. Thanks to our EcoVolt solution, we are able to treat all of our wastewater onsite. This eliminates the need for trucking, supports expansion, and allows us to further invest in the brewery.”
“We are excited about this technology,” added Richard Norgrove Jr., Brewmaster/COO and creator of Bear Republic’s flagship Racer 5 IPA, “and we look forward to seeing it take off in the craft brewing industry.”
Faced with both water supply and wastewater discharge limits, Bear Republic began to explore onsite wastewater treatment solutions to both support their expansion plan and reduce the load on the City of Cloverdale’s overworked treatment infrastructure. The brewery’s desire to maximize sustainability led them to Cambrian Innovation, and they were the first to purchase the EcoVolt Reactor in 2014. Over the next two years, Bear Republic worked in close concert with the City through a comprehensive permitting and evaluation process. The EcoVolt solution was then fully commissioned and immediately ramped-up in early 2016.
“The City of Cloverdale is proud that Bear Republic Brewing Company is an excellent corporate citizen in the community. In implementing the EcoVolt solution from Cambrian Innovation, Bear Republic exhibited their leadership, both in terms of craft brewing practices and, more generally, sustainable business practices,” said Paul Cayler, City Manager.
“It has been an honor to work with the team at Bear Republic,” said Matthew Silver, Founder and CEO of Cambrian Innovation. “We worked hard to get their EcoVolt solution approved and operational, and we are excited for what the solution’s performance results mean for the future of distributed wastewater treatment.”
About Bear Republic Brewing Company
Founded in 1995, we are a family-owned brewery located in the heart of Sonoma County, California. Founded by third and fourth generation Sonoma County residents, we pride ourselves on heritage. Our love for quality craft beers grew us into the family-owned and team oriented business we are today. Our brewpub is located in historic Healdsburg, California, where cultivation, art, and creativity have thrived for centuries. The brewpub hopes to create an atmosphere that locals can call their own and makes visitors feel at home.
About Cambrian Innovation
Cambrian Innovation is a globally-recognized biotechnology company dedicated to solving critical water, wastewater, and energy management challenges for industry. Their award-winning EcoVolt® product suite leverages advances in bioelectrochemistry to help clients cost-effectively and sustainably treat wastewater while generating clean energy and clean water. Cambrian offers wastewater treatment and resource recovery as a service through the water-energy purchase agreement (WEPA), a financing platform for distributed EcoVolt solutions.
Cambrian Innovation’s robust research and development group is also commercializing a broader portfolio of environmental productions to help industrial clients efficiently manage their resources. To learn more, visit http://www.cambrianinnovation.com.