4 Breweries Striving for Sustainability

At Hoppy Press, we have a commitment to producing our prints with sustainable practices in mind. For us, this means utilizing recycled materials, soy-based inks, and renewable energy whenever possible.

Unfortunately, the actual act of brewing is notoriously wasteful. The amount of water, energy, and space that it takes to brew on a commercial scale can be mind boggling.

The good news is that a lot of breweries are taking the initiative to “green” up their brewing process in really innovative ways.

Here are 4 breweries that are doing an amazing job…

Long Trail Brewing Co. – Anyone who lives around New England has probably heard about Long Trail. What you may not know is that they are also one of the leaders in sustainable brewing techniques. They actually have a name for their whole process and they call it ECO Brewing.

For every gallon of beer that gets made, it actually takes 6 gallons of water to make it. At least, that’s the industry standard. At Long Trail, they’ve managed to get this figure down below 2.5 gallons! They do this mainly by re-capturing steam lost during the brewing process, pretty ingenious.

In addition to reducing their water footprint, Long Trail also offers their spent mash to local farmers and runs on 100% renewable energy. Pretty awesome!

Alaskan Brewing Co. - As residents of Alaska, I can only imagine that the Alaskan Brewing team has a natural respect for the great outdoors. They also seem to know that their carbon footprint is larger than other breweries because of their remote location. According to their website, most of their ingredients travel more than 900 miles by barge before arriving at their brewery doorstep.

That being said, Alaskan Brewing has made the effort and investment to reducing their carbon footprint where they can. They were actually the first brewery in the US to install a CO2 reclamation system, which captures over 800,000 pounds of CO2 that would otherwise be released during the brewing process. More and more breweries are installing such systems.

New Belgium Brewing - When most people think about green breweries, New Belgium is one of the first to come to mind. The Colorado-based brewery isn’t shy about waving their sustainability flag. They actually have an entire blog dedicated to sustainability, which is filled with really interesting information.

One thing that has always struck me about New Belgium is their commitment to transparency. While they do have a ton of sustainability initiatives, they’re also the first ones to admit that they’re far from perfect. This earns a lot of points in my book.

Full Sail Brewing - Among the larger breweries, Full Sail has also recently earned some press for their sustainability efforts. They refer to their process as Responsible Brewing, which focuses on reducing water usage, conserving energy, and employee-ownership.

Much like New Belgium, Full Sail also acknowledges their shortcomings. Which also leads me to the question, is there truly such a thing as a “sustainable beer” or is the right choice to not drink beer at all? Oh God, that’s almost too much to think about…

Are there any other breweries out that you’d like to commend for the sustainability efforts?

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