Our brewery is a showcase for recycling, reuse and conservation. It’s not only good for the environment, but in the long run it’s good business. The cheapest electric (or natural gas, water, packaging, etc.) is what you don’t need to use.
Here are just some of things we’re doing:
We’ve installed passive solar light tubes in the brewery that not only bring natural light into the building but greatly reduce the need for artificial light. All electrical lighting will be high-efficiency fluorescents.
The main brewery roof features 463 solar panels that provide much of the electricity we need.
The new brew kettle recaptures all steam that would normally vent to atmosphere and create 1 gallon of hot water for every 5 gallons of beer brewed. Other savings come from reusing process water for cleaning operations.
Our fully automated brewhouse uses several innovations that reduce the number of pumps required. The system also requires significantly less boil time per batch, reducing gas usage.
Our high-efficiency boiler works on demand requiring just a small fraction of the natural gas a conventional always-on boiler needs.
To start, approximately 15% of the rainwater that hits our roof is diverted to a rain garden to capture it and let it percolate back into the ground rather than rushing into Cooper Creek where it contributes to erosion. The garden features native plants that attract butterflies, native bees and hummingbirds.
All our spent barley goes to a local dairy farmer for feed–last year that equaled more than two million pounds.
The roof has triple the insulation our prior roof did. A reflective surface reduces demand for cooling.
All carpet was rescued–brand new–from the dumpster of a multinational company. All furniture was purchased used and then reconditioned. All lighting is motion-activated high efficiency fluorescent. Bathrooms use high powered air dryers, eliminating all paper towels.
We recycle all paper, metal, plastic, glass and pallets. We’re still looking for a reuse for shrink wrap, although we’ve dramatically reduced our use of it.