November 14, 2006

Brewing Better Beer

I love me a good beer and I suspect you do, too. In fact, I love it so much that I write about it for a living. During my vast research (I must be professional about it, you know), I've come to learn that the craft beer industry is a tight-knit, help-each-other-out kind of community. Brewers share advice, methods, ideas and some even share technologies, all in the name of quality beer.

This sense of community seems to be extending further and further out as many brewers either go organic or convert their facilities to be as self-sustaining as possible. Often this involves giving their spent grains to local farmers who can use it in cattle feed and compost. But from coast to coast, breweries are going even further and, if their beers are any measure, it seems to be working:

  • Brooklyn Brewery: Not only do they produce great beer, but this New York brewery is 100% wind powered!
  • Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.: This ain't no basement brewery—Sierra Nevada has over 300 employees and the facilities to house them. One of the most forward-thinking breweries out there, SN is almost entirely self-sufficient. Powered by fuel cells that are twice as efficient as standard power, the brewery recycles their waste byproducts, their water waste, and are working on plans to recycle the CO2 emissions produced during fermentation!
  • East End Brewing Co.: I've heard good things about their Big Hop IPA, but as East End only distributes in PA I have yet to taste it. Their commitment to sustainability runs deep, influencing everything they do from equipment purchasing (they buy used and buy local), to wort cooling (reusing the water instead of throwing it down the drain).


So the next time you're in the mood for a cold one, remember that there are plenty of really good options that are worth supporting. Seriously, aside from East End (whose beers I haven't had the pleasure of trying yet), I would recommend the above in a heartbeat even if they weren't sustainable.

And please, if you know of or work at any other breweries working towards sustainability, let me know!

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2 Comment(s)

Anonymous Missy said...

New Belgium Brewery. Besides brewing some of the best beer I ever tasted, they are were the first 100% wind powered brewery...I need not say more:

http://www.newbelgium.com/sustainability.php

7:34 PM  
Blogger Jessie Jane said...

Thank you! I don't know how I forgot to include them. Not only are they 100% wind powered, but they give every employee a bicycle on their one-year anniversary. Pretty cool in my book.

10:53 PM  

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