Goose Island's Green Line Project makes brew 'blue' - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Goose Island's Green Line Project makes brew 'blue'

Photo by Emily Cikanek

Tom Korder, brewery operations manager, Goose Island Beer Company

The March edition of the What Our Water's Worth (WOWW) e-newsletter is hot off the presses, and it features a topic that's, well, cheery: beer.

Read on for a sneak preview of the story, and visit to subscribe to WOWW, which highlights a story each month about a person or organization using water in a remarkable way. Other ways to stay in touch with WOWW: Subscribe to our blog, "like" us on Facebook, and share your own stories, ideas and water-related information with us at

Goose Island's Green Line Project makes brew 'blue'

by Nick Bastis

Chicago has some of the nation's least expensive and highest quality water—and that good fortune isn't lost on Goose Island Beer Company. After all, the cost and quality of a beer directly relies upon the cost and quality of its most voluminous ingredient: water.

Known for locally-brewed, award-winning beers such as 312 and Bourbon County Stout, Goose Island is constantly seeking to raise the benchmark not only for great-tasting brews, but also for sustainable brewing strategies. By closely monitoring their water and energy consumption, both during their brewing and distribution processes, which together account for some 54 percent of a keg of beer's carbon footprint, Goose Island has taken several steps to minimize their water usage and save on utility costs—something they, their customers, and the international brewing community can all raise a pint to.

According to Tom Korder, Goose Island's brewery operations manager, the City of Chicago provided Goose Island with funding support to commission the Chicago Manufacturing Center to perform a product life cycle analysis of a keg of Goose Island's 312 Urban Wheat Ale and assess the keg's carbon footprint. "With the results from the report, Goose Island had the means to evaluate the impact our kegged beer has on the environment," said Korder. "From that point, we were able to identify several areas of the brewery that needed our attention and directly address those."

Read on to find out how Goose Island is making its brew more "blue" and to learn more about the company's Green Line Project. 

Watch a video to learn more about Goose Island's sustainability practices. 

Thanks for Illinois American Water for sponsoring WOWW, a multimedia communications campaign, led by MPC and Openlands, to raise awareness about the value of water in our region. 


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