Clean, Green Breweries: Great Lakes Brewing Co.

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Photo: Great Lakes Brewery.

A Christmas-in-July festival raises money for the Burning River Foundation, a water quality organization. Photo: Great Lakes Brewery.

The abundant freshwater of the Great Lakes region is increasingly used for craft beer brewing. Breweries compete for customers with an eclectic array of beers and a raft of sustainable efforts.

Some companies recycle used grain, others use recycled packaging. Some run delivery trucks on vegetable oil or harness wind and solar power. Some even donate proceeds to watershed projects. Over the next few weeks, Echo will briefly profile some of the eco-friendly brewing around the Great Lakes.

Today, we look at Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Location: Cleveland, Ohio.

Founded: 1988, by brothers Patrick and Daniel Conway.

Popular Beers: Dortmunder Gold Lager, Burning River Pale Ale, Edmund Fitzgerald Porter

Green Hook: This brewing company hosts the Burning River Festival when Cleveland celebrates Christmas in July.  Since 2000, the event has featured eco-friendly vendors, environmental groups, live music and featured the brewery’s Christmas Ale.

“The festival is fun and educational,” said Saul Kliorys, environmental programs manager at the brewery. “The site is amazing, on the shores of Lake Erie in a place (Cleveland) where people don’t often get to a lakefront. They can experience it and gain a desire to protect it.”

Proceeds benefit the Burning River Foundation, established in 2007 to increase awareness of water quality. The foundation awards money to local non-profit organizations for their work on water projects.

“People need water to survive,” said Kliroys. “As manufacturers, it’s important to value that resource.”

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