Thursday, 19 August 2010

Environmental sustainability & Craft breweries

I am an amateur of beers of craft breweries. In my country, we have tons of small craft breweries, so I am well served when I feel like to make my night special and have a sip of a new tasty drink!

What a happy surprise when I stumbled on a jem of an article tonight! I’ve learned a lot concerning the great actions taken by many of the smaller breweries around the world when it comes to environmental sustainability issues. Did you know that some of them use wind and/or solar power and heat exchangers? And that some also participate to massive recycling programs? Can you see that big smile on my face right now? I have one thing to say : Awesome!!

These small breweries are winking at and teaching to the big brewhouses that, in addition to have much less impact on the environment, it is possible to have a solid profit, and even to do it in ranking the level of their employees happiness and the quality of their products!!

Here are some of the Breweries highlighted by the article :

One of the most eco-friendly brewery is located in Fort Collins, Colorado. This employee-owned business became, not less than 11 years ago, the largest private consumer of wind-powered electricity. New belgium focusses to minimize their environmental impact and to "honor natural resources by closing the loops between waste and input". In addition of their use of evaporative coolers and of the natural light, a benefit that is allowed by the region, I also like the fact that they promote the bicycle as an alternative transport by organising public events such as Tour de Fat, their philanthropic bike festival, for wich they use a solar-powered stage to provide sound for the day.

The brewery prides itself -and rightly!- to be a "model of joyful environmentalism through their commitment to relationships, continuous improvement, and the camaraderie and cheer of beer".

Seriously, I got to try their Frambozen (Rapsberry brown ale)! I just discovered, through my research for the writting of this post, that they brew one with their seasonal product line! I have to tell you: my favorite beer of all was –yes, I have to say WAS, ‘cause it doesn’t exists anymore… sigh!- the Liefmans Frambozen.


Using wind power to get 100% of its needs in electricity, this brewery located in Brooklyn is the first NYC company to switch to 100% renewable energy. As per the article I’ve read : "This saves the atmosphere from 335,000 pounds of carbon dioxide, 1,500 pounds of sulfur dioxide, and 500 pounds of nitrogen oxide that would otherwise be emitted".

Brooklyn Brewery also uses the complete raw materials by paying local farmers to pick up all the grains that are left over after brewing, so they can feed their cattle (hummm... I will have to dig concerning this: reuse waste IS awesome... but not quite sure it really is a good thing for the animals?).


Since 2 years, this brewery located in Chico, California, is partly powered by solar panels. The country can count on them to help supplying the power grid during peak power usage periods. In addition of reusing spent vegetable oil from their Taproom & Restaurant to make the biodiesel they are using in their long haul and local route trucks, Sierra Nevada Brewering Co diverts 98.2% of its waste from the landfill!


Combining wind power and low-impact hydro generators to power their brewery located in Brooklyn, Steam Whistle goes greener by using B20 Bio Fuel in their delivery trucks. The brewery makes its beers in using only four -and natural- ingredients (pure spring water, malted barley, hops and yeast), all GMO-free! I will definitely have to find and taste this beer!

What do you think about all this? It seems that a wind of freshness and change is blowing over the beer industry!

This makes me feel so good to think that companies like those mentioned above are saving the atmosphere from the emissions of tons of crap gases by their choices to go with clean and renewable power sources!

I highly encourage you to dig and find out the small companies from your country that are doing the right thing, and to support them the more you can, ‘cause it’s this way that we will end up to see changes to extend on a much bigger scale, like to bigger companies.

Have a great weekend everybody, and have a "green" cool beer to the health of our planet... and of ours through it!


  1. Yeah i think newbelgium is available at the Mondial De La Biere... 1 weekend each year in montreal, i did not knew that some breweries where solar and wind powered, thats super cool. For Liefmans, well they restarted production, but framboozen and kriek are over... they call it red fruits beer that is a mix of cherry and other red berries, taste super but not like the old recipes...

  2. Haha! I knew you would love this one, Kike! Thank you so much for sharing with us your knowledge on the subject!

    Nope, nothing as the old one! But the closest I found was one that I taste in Kauai (I will definitely have to ask the name of it to my friend there)... Here in Quebec, I'd say that the Framboise Triple is the closest. Give it a try, if you haven't yet!