Beer money: Investing in the water leaders of tomorrow

Proceeds from the sale of a microbrew made with reused water will fund multiple industry scholarships.

December 28, 2018 | By: Cathy Proctor
Five men standing in a bar, one of them holding a large check for $5,000, surrounded by banners from the American Water Works Association, Denver WAter, and underneath a sign for Declaration Brewery.
Presenting the proceeds from the sale of a limited-edition Centurion Pilsner beer made by Declaration Brewery. Pictured from left are: David LaFrance, CEO of the American Water Works Association; Mike Blandford, co-founder of Declaration Brewery; Greg Schlichting, also a co-founder; Tom Roode, Chief of Denver Water’s Operations and Maintenance; and Matt Bond, Denver Water youth education program manager. Photo credit: American Water Works Association.

 

The yearlong celebration of Denver Water’s 100th anniversary was capped with an investment in the future — via support for scholarships for the next generation of water professionals.

A series of events were held throughout 2018 to mark this milestone in Denver history. Among them, Declaration Brewery in Denver brewed a special, limited-edition Centurion Pilsner using some of the reused water produced from the PureWater Colorado Demonstration Project, an advanced purification system brought to the state by WateReuse Colorado, which aims to expand the practice of reusing water.

The demonstration project was supported by Denver Water, which teamed with Declaration Brewery to turn the project’s water into beer. Proceeds from the sale of the beer went to support scholarships offered by the American Water Works Association and WateReuse Colorado.

Centurion Pilsner, a craft beer from Declaration Brewery celebrating Denver Water’s 100th anniversary, makes a stop at the state Capitol. Photo by Fireside Production.
Centurion Pilsner, a craft beer from Declaration Brewery celebrating Denver Water’s 100th anniversary, makes a stop at the state Capitol. Photo credit: Fireside Production.

Mike Blandford, co-founder of Declaration Brewery, in December 2018 presented a check for $5,000 to support the scholarships. Denver Water also contributed $12,000 to the scholarship funds in support of future water industry leaders.

“Our 100th anniversary was a chance to reflect on our past, honor the present and look forward to the future. Supporting scholarships available through these great organizations will help bring the next generation of people into this crucial industry,” said Tom Roode, chief of Denver Water’s operations and maintenance division.

Denver Water employs more than 1,000 people who deliver clean, safe, reliable drinking water for 1.4 million people in Denver and some surrounding suburbs.

Declaration tapped the first keg of its Centurion Pilsner at its tasting room on June 1. The limited-edition beer also could be purchased in local liquor stores.

“Great beer starts with great water, which requires trained water professionals,” said David LaFrance, CEO of the American Water Works Association. “Recruiting new workers will be critical in the coming years as the water industry is expecting to see a rising number of retirements in the current workforce.”

The PureWater project also earned national recognition from the national WateReuse Association, which presented the Colorado chapter with an Advocacy Achievement Award in September 2018 at group’s annual symposium.

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