Instead of drinking beer spiked with food coloring today, celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a bottle or can of truly “green” beer from one of these eco-friendly breweries.
The urban brewery is powered solely by wind-generated electricity. The company also recycles its grain into pig and chicken feed, as well as compost for the Queens County Farm Museum.
Named Green Business of the Year in 2010 by the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Northern California brewery is partially powered by more than 10,000 solar panels along with hydrogen fuel cells. The brewery’s organic waste is converted into compost and used in the company’s hop and barley fields, as well as their two gardens. The company even powers its trucks with waste vegetable oil from their on-site restaurant.
New Belgium Brewing
The Colorado brewery captures methane gas from the company’s water treatment facility. The gas is then piped into the brewery and used to generate about 15 percent of the company’s electricity. They also harness solar power and have managed to divert nearly 100 percent of the brewery’s waste from the landfill since 2013 by composting, recycling and selling spent grain to local farmers.
Solar panels, repurposed spent grain, compost and a fleet of biodiesel delivery trucks keep this San Diego brewery running clean. The brewery’s restaurant also features a Meatless Monday menu, which, according to the brewery, prevents 110,448 pounds of carbon dioxide from being released every year.
The conditioning warehouse at this Michigan brewery is topped with a green, living roof, which helps naturally insulate the building. During the winter, brewers simply use outside air to chill the warehouse, reducing the electricity they would use on refrigeration.
Great Lakes Brewing
Along with the reuse of spent grain, regular recycling and an energy efficiency plan that includes solar panels, the Cleveland brewery also makes an effort not to waste any beer. Bottles that aren’t filled to capacity (and are therefore unsellable) are used to make other products for the brewery, like ice creams and soaps.