Brewing is an inherently resource intensive process. It takes 7 barrels of water to produce just one barrel of beer. It takes a lot of energy to get through all of the steps of the brewing process. Then you take into account transportation of materials and final products. In a world emphasizing a sustainable future, brewing seems to be anything but green.
However, improvements are being made by brewers to contribute a positive impact on the environment. Breweries around the country are working hard to find ways to be more sustainable. These changes range from small- such as providing bike parking on brewery property- to very large- Sierra Nevada's LEED Certified Platinum campus in Mills River, NC- but each change in important for the environment. Even small changes can have big impacts!
Currently, there aren't any set guidelines for breweries to be more sustainable. Passionate brewers are working hard anyway, trying to find ways that they can have a positive impact in an industry that has had a negative one for a while. Breweries are doing things like building facilities that reclaim carbon dioxide or using solar panels to generate clean energy. Two large breweries, New Belgium and Sierra Nevada, are paving the way for bigger and more impactful changes.
New Belgium is dedicated to making their environmental impact as small as possible. They are committed to things like clean energy, sustainable packaging, and conserving water. Their breweries use wind, solar, and biogas energy instead of traditional energy. They also are energy efficient, with some parts of their Asheville, NC brewery being LEED certified. They are actively researching to determine what the most sustainable form of packaging is for their beer: cans or bottles? They partner with organizations to advocate for protecting and water. To top it all off, they are committed to making all of their beers carbon neutral by the year 2030, and they are already brewing one carbon neutral beer.
Sierra Nevada is setting records as the first LEED Certified Platinum brewery in the US. Their campus in Mills River, NC was initially going to be built to be LEED Certified Silver, but as they were building the campus, they realized that they wanted to go all the way. LEED is a globally recognized rating system for the design and construction of environmentally responsible buildings and considers a large subset of construction factors including energy generation and efficiency, stormwater management, water efficiency, landscaping, indoor environmental quality, and construction materials and practices. Everything on the Sierra Nevada Mills River property is sustainable, from the buildings themselves to the brewing process equipment to the pavement in the parking lot.
Partnering with you
Brewing with Enzymes is committed to helping you towards your sustainability goals. Several of our solutions can help you achieve a more sustainable brew. Maturex Pro can help you achieve a shorter maturation time, which saves energy. Ondea Pro and Ceremix Flex can help you locally source your raw materials, cutting down on transportation of materials.
How are you working to make your brand more sustainable? Let us know in the comments!