In honor of the Craft Brewers Conference coming to Nashville on April 30th-May 3rd, we thought we would take a look at the sustainability initiatives being undertaken by brewers overall and craft brewers in particular. If you head over to the Brewers Association website you will find a significant dedication to sustainable best practice on many levels. First, you will find a number of Sustainability Manuals covering such topics as: Energy, Solid Waste, Water & Wastewater, and Sustainable Design. They offer extensive Benchmarking Tools for brewers to measure the success of their sustainability efforts.
In addition to the online resources, there are dedicated human resources being made available to the industry. For example, there is John Stier who has the role of being the industry’s Sustainability Mentor. John spearheads the Benchmarking Project that leads to the BA Benchmarking Report. John has his own consulting practice called Sustainable Brewing Solutions that specializes on assisting brewers with their environmental efforts.
The Brewers Association (BA) Sustainability Ambassador is named Ian Hughes who travels to state brewers guild gatherings nationwide to support the Brewers Association’s sustainability programs, such promoting the BA’s Sustainability Committee. The Committee supports craft brewers with implementing their sustainability programs. Ian was involved with one of the larger craft brewers called Goose Island Beer Company, acting as their in-house Sustainability Projects Lead. It is great to see such commitment whereby individual members take on such internal responsibilities.
There is great article that highlights 6 craft breweries making a difference with their sustainability efforts: New Belgium Brewing Co, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Brewery Vivant, Jester King Brewery, SweetWater Brewing Co., and Arcadia Brewing Co. These industry leaders are pushing the pace with such efforts as striving for zero-waste, LEED Platinum facilities, incorporating solar, protecting waterways, biofuel production, and much more. Here is a report from the University of Colorado that goes into more details to some of these breweries’ best practices and strategies.
We hope to report more on this industry from attending the Craft Brewers Conference: April 30th-May 3rd in Nashville.