Environmentally friendly and beer may not be two words you often think of in the same sentence. However, there is a surprising wealth of planet-friendly brewers out there. They all take environmental considerations into the production, in order to ensure that Mother Earth can continue to provide us with the ingredients for sweet, sweet alcohol – for plenty of millennia to come.
From beer created out of wasted bread, to collected rainwater and innovative waste disposal techniques, there are a growing number of breweries committed to producing sustainable beer for the modern, environmentally caring drinker.
Adnam’s is a reasonably large player in the UK ale scene, mostly known for their 4.5% abv citrus pale ale Ghost Ship. This Suffolk based brewer is most unique though, for its environmental approach. They were the first UK brewing company to complete full impact assessments on their carbon footprint and water waste, leading them to make some structural changes.
Their storage facilities are built underground, with plant-based insulation made from hemp and sedum, thus eliminating the need for power intensive cooling systems. Any electricity the facility does use is powered by solar panels and a wind turbine, and any excess hops or other plant material from the brewing process is given to local farmers for animal feed. Adnam’s aims to be a 0% landfill site and they even capture rainwater for use in washing and recycling.
Purity Brewing Co.
This Warwickshire based brewer has won awards for their sustainable manufacturing processes. Completely powered by solar panels and bio-mass broilers, they produce highly rated beverages such as the 3.8% ABV Pure Gold golden ale or their 3.5% Bunny Hopped pale ale.
Based on a working farm, they waste zero water at Purity Brewing – instead leftover H20 is steadily filtered back into the local wetland environment where it can help foster biodiversity for generations to come.
Probably the biggest brewery on this list, the New York based Brooklyn Brewery not only exports their beers all over the world – but they are the forefront of the brewers trying to look after the planet too.
Their headquarters features such innovations such as recycling bottle caps from their tasting facility into merchandise, and an anaerobic digester to convert waste water back into methane for fuel. Despite their urban location, the Brooklyn Brewery also uses wind power brought from an upstate grid as well as plating thousands of trees a year in Mississippi.
Even the building they purchased way back in 1994 was a repurposed factory, that they specifically sought out to save from demolition.
We’ve covered Toast before on these pages – but when its such a cool idea, how could we not? Designed to help lessen, and bring attention to, the huge problem of food wastage, Toast Ale takes leftover bread crusts from sandwich manufacturers and turns them into tasty beers. Complete with puntastic names such as 4.5% session IPA Bloomin’ Lovely or 5% lager Much Kneaded, Toast Ale has a proved a roaring success in the UK market. Who knew you could drink beers and not harm the planet at the same time?
Cheers to that!