Several breweries are employing environmentally sound practices in everything from ingredients to distribution. The common denominator among these companies is a set of corporate values that make sustainability the highest priority. And many of these breweries have significantly modified their entire manufacturing process to produce a beer you can enjoy guilt free.
These breweries take a “big-picture” approach that makes many of them leaders in corporate environmental ethics. New Belgium Brewing, for example, meets 30 percent of its energy needs by putting its water waste in enclosed pools with anaerobic bacteria. The bacteria feed off the nutrient-rich water to produce methane gas, which is converted into energy for the factory. The remaining 70 percent of the energy they consume comes from renewable sources.
New Belgium Brewing also conducts Life Cycle Assessments of its beers to determine the material and energy flows at each stage in the brewing process. “It’s a tool to improve not just the sustainability of our company, but of our industry, too,” say founders Kim and Jeff. A six-pack of their Fat Tire label produces 35 percent fewer emissions than the industry average.
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