Green Beer is Good for the Environment
No, it’s not already St. Patrick’s Day again. Breweries around the world are making a concerted effort to embrace sustainability and you might be surprised by the lengths some of them are going.
Sustainability in beer brewing means striving to reduce the environmental impact of the entire beer-making process, from growing ingredients like barley, hops, and wheat to manufacturing bottles, cans, and kegs. It also involves minimizing energy usage, reducing water consumption, and improving recycling practices. Sustainable breweries are committed to protecting the environment as well as respecting their customers.
While this isn’t a complete list by any means, there are a few names and aspirations that we wanted to point out today.
The Big Guys
One example of a brewery that is leading the green beer revolution is Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, California. This pioneering craft brewery has implemented a variety of innovative sustainability practices, including using solar panels to generate electricity and harvesting rainwater for cooling. They have also reduced their water usage by over 50% since 2010.
Anheuser Busch, the world’s largest beer producer, has also taken strides to become more sustainable. They have implemented a water stewardship program, which focuses on reducing the company’s water usage and improving their wastewater treatment processes. In addition, they have invested in energy-efficient technology such as LED lighting and solar-powered refrigeration.
Anheuser-Busch InBev, the parent company of Anheuser Busch, has made a commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2025. To achieve this goal, they are investing in renewable energy sources and exploring more sustainable packaging solutions.
MillerCoors is also on the sustainability bandwagon. They have pledged to achieve a 25% reduction in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions by 2020. Their efforts include investing in more efficient brewing equipment, using recycled materials for packaging, and partnering with suppliers who are committed to sustainability.
Lastly, Heineken, the second-largest beer maker, has announced a goal to become neutral by 2030. To reach this target, they’re exploring new ways to reduce their energy usage and emissions, as well as investing in renewable energy sources.
Many craft breweries are also doing their part to reduce their environmental footprint. Some of these smaller operations are using renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal power to minimize carbon emissions and increase efficiency. Others are embracing less traditional methods of sustainability — from composting grain spent during the brewing process to reusing glass bottles in the packaging of their beers.
Others are creating jobs in underserved communities and giving back to the environment through initiatives such as tree-planting events, beach cleanups, and riverbank preservation projects.
New Belgium Brewing is one such example. This employee-owned brewery has embraced sustainability initiatives such as using wind power, utilizing water-efficient brewing equipment, and recycling waste grain for animal feed.
Sustainable breweries are beneficial to the beer industry and customers alike in many ways. Firstly, they are reducing their environmental impact by utilizing renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and geothermal power to minimize carbon emissions and increase efficiency.
Additionally, they are decreasing water usage, improving recycling practices, and minimizing energy usage. These efforts all help to reduce the overall costs of production for breweries, which can be passed on to customers in the form of lower prices.
Finally, sustainable brewing practices help to create jobs and support local communities, which further strengthens the economic impact of the beer industry.
Overall, beer is going green and some breweries are leading the way in sustainability. Whether you’re enjoying a cold one from a major brand or sipping on craft beer, you can rest assured that your brew is helping to reduce the environmental impact of our planet. One beer at a time.