The main ingredient to our stellar beer? Fantastic Minnesota water of course. A lot of work goes into the water production of crafting our high-quality brews; our process requires a number of permits with local and state offices, weekly testing, monthly reports and compliance to ensure our water efficiency and wastewater treatment operations are running smoothly. To handle all-things water-related, there’s no better man to call than our go-to environmental engineer, Ike Anderson!
A Madison, Minnesota native, Ike moved to Saint Cloud, Minnesota in 2007 where he graduated from Saint Cloud State University with a B.S. in General Biology. By 2011, he was seeking a permanent job in the area.
“Originally I applied for a Lab Tech position at the local brewery, while there were no open positions in the lab, I was offered a role in the batching department,” said Ike. “Since then, I’ve had probably eight different job titles in the time I’ve been here, I’ve really moved around a lot within the company. I started working the night shift here in 2011 – a very different time for the Brewery! From 2015 to 2017 I moved to Missouri to court and marry my wife Ali, then we moved back to central Minnesota to have kids.”
Ike’s experience and skills make him a perfect fit for the many responsibilities that come with the environmental engineer’s role. From mechanical troubleshooting to data collection and analysis, to project oversight and working with various government offices to acquire permit compliance, Ike rarely has a slow day.
“I oversee the wastewater treatment plant, which is where our industrial production waste is treated prior to going to the City Municipal Treatment Plant,” explained Ike. “We have a number of permits with local and state offices that require weekly testing and monthly reports, I maintain that compliance for the brewery. I also keep track of a number of water use and water efficiency spreadsheets, consult on water treatment issues that occur on the incoming water side of things and provide technical assistance to management on expansion projects if we find there is going to be a big uptick in water use or waste.”
When asked what he enjoys most about the craft brew industry, Ike loves to share his passion for his role with others.
“It’s always fun to meet new people and when they ask ‘what do you do?’ you get to tell them you work at a brewery!” expressed Ike. “Their eyes light up and the conversation is generally very fun after that, it’s a really relatable opening. Everyone has an opinion, whether they like beer or not, and I think it’s interesting to hear what people have to say. I really enjoy being asked questions about the internal workings of the brewhouse, it’s a fun part of the job.”
What’s Ike looking forward to most when it comes to the future of Cold Spring? The ever increasing expansion opportunities.
“We’ve doubled in size here in Minnesota in the last three years, it’s been non-stop expansions in that time,” said Ike. “I’m excited to refocus and really concentrate on making our ‘new normal’ even more efficient than it is, we have a ton of new systems and most of the focus has just been on getting everything fired up and running. Now is the time to make it work even better.”
When Ike isn’t hard at work, he and his wife, Ali, have their hands full with a six-month-old and three-year-old. If he has the chance to sneak away, he enjoys playing video games with college buddies, reading and whatever woodworking project comes his way. Thank you for all you do, Ike! Cheers to you!