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Sustainability Comes To The Brewing Industry

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The New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado, has taken a fully sustainable approach to brewing all of their craft beers.

The founders were so passionate about the environment that they hired a sustainability specialist to assess all of the business processes.

And the solutions are inspiring.

One major step was installing 200 kilowatts of solar panels, which was the largest such project of 2010. Any power the brewery cannot produce through solar energy comes from wind power utility providers.

According to The Rational Middle, the company also redesigned the building and installed 3 story high glass panels that reduced the need for heating and lighting. And employees love the nicer work environment that it provides.

But what does all this mean for carbon emissions?

An estimated saving of 8,000,000 pounds of CO2. Yes, that’s 8 million pounds every year, from a relatively small brewery.

Next, they looked at how to better deal with ingredients.
Locally produced grains are the primary source for the brewery, and they have managed to find a home for all the solid waste with a local farmer who feeds it to livestock.

One of the most innovative solutions is a cone-shaped kettle that boils the raw liquid ingredients. It saves an estimated 65% of electricity costs through a simple change in design.

None of these solutions are overly drastic and are entirely scalable, which should make this a template for all other breweries.

Watch the full video from the Rational Middle below:

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