NGRREC to Host Brewers and Biologists Event

Article by: Louise Jett, L&C Media Services,

EAST ALTON, IL – Lewis and Clark Community College’s National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC℠) invites the public to attend Brewers and Biologists from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at the Jerry F. Costello Confluence Field Station located at One Confluence Way in East Alton. 

“The premise of the event is to foster unification between those who conduct research within academia and those who apply scientific concepts or sustainable practices within their businesses by highlighting the shared values of both our staff and a few local breweries that are leading the field in sustainability,” Environmental Educator Allison Rhanor said.

Guests will view demonstrations from NGRREC scientists on topics from amphibian and reptile conservation (including live animals), to soil science, to automated animal tracking devices, and more.

Children are invited to participate in hands-on activities like looking at bugs under microscopes, decorating their own reusable tote bags and more at the Swarovski Waterschool Kids Corner. Guests can also check out NGRREC’s native landscaping and take a walk through the grounds and onto the green roof guided by a plant map with build-in scavenger hunt.

“We share a common ground; we just come to that ground from difference places,” Rhanor said. “Collaborations like these facilitate the spread of sustainable and scientific messaging. Working together is good practice. Everyone wins.”

Local brewers will be present to talk about the ways in which the brewing industry can reduce their environmental impact without compromising the quality of their products. Participating breweries include The Old Bakery Beer Company, Schlafly Beer, Urban Chestnut Brewing Company and Blueprint Coffee.

“Sustainability has always been a priority at Old Bakery Beer Company,” Co-owner of Old Bakery Beer Company Lauren Pattan said. “There are a lot of beer festivals out there these days, but this one is unique in that the focus will be on our sustainable brewing practices and not just on the beer we brew. We’re excited to be a part of it.”

The event is free to attend, and no purchase is necessary to enjoy the science demonstrations, native gardens, free snacks, Swarovski Waterschool Kids Corner or to speak with brewers about sustainability in their industry.

Anyone can purchase a commemorative glass for $3, but only those over the age of 21 will receive a wristband with their purchase. The wristband will allow guests to enjoy samples from local breweries that are leading the field in sustainable practices. NGRREC can accept credit card, check or cash, but no change will be available. Those planning to pay in cash, should have exact change.

Those with questions can contact Rhanor at

National Great Rivers Research and Education Center (NGRREC℠)

Founded in 2002 as a collaborative partnership between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Lewis and Clark Community College, NGRREC is dedicated to the study of great river systems and the communities that use them. The center aspires to be a leader in scholarly research, education, and outreach related to the interconnectedness of large rivers, their floodplains, watersheds, and their associated communities. To learn more about NGRREC, visit