Industrial Utility Efficiency    

Vacuum Technology Saves Widmer Brothers Brewery Nearly $40,000 in Water, Sewer and Energy Costs

Widmer BrothersAtlas Copco GHS VSD+ rotary screw vacuum pump at Widmer Brothers Brewery.

Atlas Copco, a leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions, recently partnered with Widmer Brothers Brewery, part of the Craft Brew Alliance (CBA), to improve the company’s bottling process and eliminate excess water consumption with the first-known waterless vacuum pump in the craft beer industry. By replacing a liquid ring pump with an Atlas Copco GHS VSD+ rotary screw vacuum pump, the Portland, Oregon, brewery saves nearly $40,000 in water, sewer and energy costs.

Widmer Brothers Brewery originally used a liquid ring vacuum pump to bottle beers, but quickly realized the technology was consuming roughly 5,000 gallons of water per day at an average flow of 3.5 gallons per minute. After consulting Atlas Copco, Widmer Brothers Brewery decided to upgrade to the GHS VSD+ rotary screw vacuum pump.

“Unlike the liquid ring pump, the GHS VSD+ uses a foam dampening water trap to capture water and foam during the bottling process,” said Greg Marciniak, Business Development Manager for the Industrial Vacuum Division at Atlas Copco. “Without the risk of liquid and foam entering the system, Widmer Brothers Brewery has peace of mind that their system will stay up and running without excess liquid potentially flooding the production floor. It not only keeps the area safe, it also drives down product waste.”

With the GHS VSD+, Widmer Brothers Brewery saves ample time and energy in the bottling process. By replacing the liquid ring pump, it has reduced water consumption by 5,000 gallons per day, which saves an annual $5,000 in water costs and $30,000 in sewer costs, including extra strength charges.

Although the equipment upgrade was originally driven by the desire to save water, Widmer Brothers Brewery has avoided wastewater impact and also saved on energy consumption. In switching to a Variable Speed Drive rotary screw vacuum pump, the system now produces a deeper vacuum with half the horsepower, saving the brewery close to $4,000 in energy costs.

“Widmer Brothers Brewery has a long history of supporting clean water and investing in innovative ways to protect beer’s number one ingredient,” said Julia Person, Sustainability Manager with Widmer Brothers Brewery. “We’re excited to partner with Atlas Copco to pioneer the first waterless vacuum pump in the craft beer industry, and it’s been great seeing how this innovation will lead to new energy and water saving technologies to be shared with our peers.”


About Atlas Copco

Atlas Copco is a world-leading provider of sustainable productivity solutions. The Group serves customers with innovative compressors, vacuum solutions and air treatment systems, construction and mining equipment, power tools and assembly systems. Atlas Copco develops products and services focused on productivity, energy efficiency, safety and ergonomics. The company was founded in 1873, is based in Stockholm, Sweden, and has a global reach spanning more than 180 countries. In 2015, Atlas Copco had revenues of BSEK 102 (BEUR 11) and more than 43,000 employees. Learn more at

About Widmer Brothers Brewing

Widmer Brothers Brewing – Kurt and Rob Widmer – founded Widmer Brothers Brewing in 1984 in a former mattress factory located in what is now the Pearl district in Portland, Oregon. It’s hard to believe that the Oregon craft beer movement started with a cobbled together brewery including two fermenters built from old milk tanks, nuclear power plant parts, and farm equipment gathered in Oregon and Washington, but that’s exactly how the Widmer Brothers began their story. Inspired by their German heritage, the first two beers they brewed were Altbier and Weizenbier. When a loyal local account requested a third beer, and with no way to increase tank space at their brewery, the brothers unfiltered their Weizenbier thinking it was a simple, one-time solution. Not so. The cloudy wheat beer, poured into a distinctive pilsner glass, and garnished with a lemon was about to become the Original American Hefeweizen. Today, Hefe remains Oregon’s top selling craft beer for its distinctive great taste and hazy appearance. Hefeweizen has remained a NW staple beer and continues to win awards. Widmer Brothers continues to create quality craft beers and push the limits of Beervana. For more information, visit