Degree Name

BS in Agricultural Business


Agribusiness Department


Erik Slayter


The purpose of this study was to both see the effects of wastewater on profitability as well as determine an efficient way of dealing with that wastewater. In addition to finding the most efficient way of treating wastewater, the cost of implementing such a technology was also discussed. Two technologies were specifically talked about and those were an anaerobic digester and a two stage anaerobic digester. Between the three breweries that were discussed, two of them use one of those pieces of equipment; Sierra Nevada has an anaerobic digester and Red Hook has a two stage anaerobic digester.

To analyze the two technologies discussed, three financial tools were used. All three show the costs, expenses, as well as the increased revenue that would come from the equipment. Partial budgeting was used to compare the cost of water with and without the technology for Sierra Nevada and Red Hook, net present value was used to determine the present value of the equipment should it be used continuously for the next ten years, and finally a cost-benefit analysis was used to show the cost reductions and revenue increases for each brewery.

Based on the data collected from the three breweries (one of which was not large enough to acquire such a costly piece of equipment), the water costs decreased by a substantial amount and in one case cut costs by nearly 50%. Even when taking into account the immense cost of purchasing the equipment, the savings generated would be enough for a business to either take out a loan or pay off the equipment over the course of several years.

Though the study was in depth, there is room for improvement in terms of data collection. If someone with access to specific brewery data were to take on this study, he or she may be able to provide a more specific analysis as well as review some additional breweries.