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3 Eco-Friendly Breweries

More breweries these days are becoming eco-friendly by taking simple steps to help ensure sustainability and energy efficiency. Eco-friendly breweries across the country are committed to repurposing spent grain to sustain local farm operations, making sure that lighting at the brewery itself is energy-efficient and reusing or composting dross byproducts of brewing. The breweries below are setting a great example for their peers.

Brooklyn Brewery

Brooklyn Brewery is a craft brewery that’s been around since 1988 and has fans in over two dozen states and twenty countries around the world. Part of Brooklyn Brewery’s formula for success is giving the public what they want – Brooklyn Pilsner is especially popular – but also looking out for the environment.

Craft breweries around the country are trying out wind and solar energy – both alternative energy sources – and noticing improvements. Brooklyn Brewery, in particular, powers its tasting and brewing rooms using all wind power. The employees and customers at Brooklyn Brewery see the nod to sustainability as a step in the right direction.

Local wind farms and turbines can help bring usable energy to bars and other urban establishments looking to utilize renewable energy. In the case of Brooklyn Brewery, spent grain is also repurposed by local farms in Upstate New York. It’s truly a winning combination that other eco-conscious breweries across the country can learn from and apply to their eco-friendly initiatives.

New Belgium Brewing

New Belgium Brewing is located in Colorado and is proud to report that it diverts over 99 percent of its waste. The breweries founder notes that there’s little waste in nature and that breweries should emulate this closed-loop system, and even go so far as brewing byproducts if possible.

This brewery definitely gets points for creativity as a large share of its energy is drawn from methane repurposed through a nearby water treatment facility. On the waterfront, New Belgium Brewing has teamed up with Save the Colorado campaign and seven other sustainability-conscious companies to raise awareness about the benefits of water conservation.

Recirculation tanks actually help New Belgium Brewing to conserve water while retaining the unique aroma and taste of a flavorful, hops-filled craft beer. The brew masters at New Belgium Brewing plan on using nearly a quarter less water per glass of beer in 2015 than the brewery did in 2006. In light of the fact that New Belgium Brewing is the third-biggest craft brewery in the United States, that’s a lot of savings.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company

Sierra Nevada Brewing Company has been committed to the three Rs (reuse, recycle, and reduce) for longer than most. Sierra Nevada Brewing Company embraced stewardship towards the environment before many others in California, let alone companies and foundations in other states who didn’t understand the benefits of embracing environmentalism as a business model early on.

Ten thousand solar cells dot the landscape surrounding the brewery. Perhaps this is why the EPA named Sierra Nevada Brewing Company their greenest business in 2010. This is very impressive considering the scale of Sierra Nevada’s operations – Sierra Nevada is in the top ten brewing companies in the United States, and the brewery churns out nearly a million barrels per year.

Sierra Nevada’s barley and hops are nurtured by retreated water and, in fact, over 99 percent of the waste produced by the brewery is diverted from ever reaching the landfill. With thousands of solar cells producing several megawatts of electricity used for brewing and lighting Sierra Nevada every day, there’s a lot to learn from this California-based brewery.


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