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Saturday, June 13, 2009

Brews for the Eco-Minded Drinker

The next time you call the boys over for a friendly game of poker or host a chip-and-dip fest with the ladies, Full Sail and New Belgium Breweries are hoping you grab one of their sustainable beverages. Respected in the nation for green business practices and tasty beers, these two microbreweries are leading the way in energy efficiency, recycling, reuse, and sustainability. Full Sail Brewing From their American Pale Ale to the Brewmaster's Reserve, Full Sail Brewing masterfully creates handcrafted ales and lagers in Hood River, Oregon. In the sustainable business world, Full Sail has certainly earned their ranking as one of the leading 100 green companies in Oregon – an honor bestowed upon the microbrewery by the Oregon Business Magazine. Besides using sustainable ingredients and embracing renewable energy, the brewhouse itself is an efficient wonder – built with reclaimed and recycled building materials. Other green business practices include:
  • An on-site wastewater treatment facility
  • Utilizing hops and barley from Northwest farms
  • Recycling grain and yeast waste into cattle feed
  • 100% recycled paperboard for packaging
  • Energy-efficient lighting and air compressors throughout brewhouse
  • Adopting a 4-day workweek (four 10-hour shifts) to reduce water and energy consumption by 20%.
The brewery has also achieved reduced water consumption in regards to their beer making process. While most breweries use 6 to 8 gallons of water to make just one gallon of beer – Full Sail accomplishes the same task with only 3.45 gallons of water. New Belgium Brewing Social and environmental causes have always figured into the plan for New Belgium Brewing, as they've continued to push the envelope with their own green business practices. In addition to the sustainable brewery features listed below, the company has also set goals to further reduce their carbon footprint by 25% and water usage by 10%.
  • Exceeding the expectations of the Clean Water Act of 1973, New Belgium Brewing implemented their own process for treating wastewater. As a result, they also learned how to harness the methane produced by the process to create a fuel used to generate electricity and heat for the brewery.
  • In 1999, New Belgium became recognized as the largest private consumer of wind-power electricity at that time. They also earned the honor of being the first wind-powered brewery.
  • UV blocking windows, sun-tubes, and light shelves assist the brewhouse in taking advantage of more than 360 days of sunrays decorating the Fort Collins, Colorado skies.
  • Measuring 55,000 square foot, evaporative coolers result in decreased energy use for the compressor-free packaging hall. The interior wood used to construct this newer facility is beetle kill pine, which New Belgium Brewing says give "fallen trees another life."
Photo Credits: Environmental Leader, New Belgium

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Blogger Jesse said...


6/13/2009 11:07:00 AM  

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