Northern United Brewing First in State to Use New Device to Convert Wastewater to Reusable Water


Dexter-based Northern United Brewing Co. is the first brewer in Michigan to install a device called Cambrian EcoVoltMini, a one-container system that converts wastewater into reusable water.

“We were stuck between a rock and hard place — we wanted to make more beer to meet growing demand, but our community’s treatment plant capacity was tapped out,” says Tony Grant, CEO and CFO of Northern United Brewing Co. “With the city and state’s help, we are bringing wastewater management in-house with an innovative system from Cambrian. We’re excited to expand our production, and we’re proud to do our part to reduce pressure on the community’s water system.”

The device is specifically designed for breweries, wineries, and dairies that are generating up to 20,000 gallons of wastewater a day.

The founders of Grizzly Peak Brewing Co., North Peak Brewing Co., and Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales launched Northern United Brewing Co. in 2008.

Grant says the system will eliminate more than 65 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, the equivalent of planting more than 50 acres of trees every year. The initial installation will support a 40-percent expansion of Northern United Brewing Co.’s annual production.

“This project is the result of a strong collaboration to adopt and implement the right solution not only for Northern United Brewing Co., but also the community,” says Matthew Silver, CEO of Boston-based Cambrian Innovation. “The EcoVolt Mini’s compact design brings our EcoVolt product line to smaller-scale operations that still want the big benefits of advanced wastewater treatment.”

Peter Anastor, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s agriculture development division, says the device will be ultimately used in other industries across the state.

“We anticipate that this project will be a model that can be deployed across the state,” Anastor says. “There are hundreds of food, beverage, and agricultural producers in Michigan (that) face the same challenges as Northern United Brewing Co.”

The EcoVolt Mini at Northern United Brewing Co. is scheduled to be installed during the spring of 2016.