Saving the Planet, One Beer at a Time

Saving the Planet, One Beer at a Time

There is a humorous t-shirt or poster that you can get on the internet with the above saying imprinted on the shirt or poster.  It is a vintage look with a man holding out two crushed beer cans.

This saying is serious to a brewer named Lolo Peak Brewing, located in Missoula, Montana.  On a side note: my family, plus three other families drove through Missoula, from Yellow Stone to Glacier National Park. There is an amazing cave, named Lewis and Clark, which can be toured off of U.S. 90 between Bozeman and Missoula.  It is really a crazy thing. There is a door on the side of a mountain that your guide opens with a key.  You come out another door around the side of the same mountain.  Between the doors are some fantastic sights. This is just one of many reasons that this planet deserves some care and attention. But back to the brewing!

The Lolo Peak Brewery found a way to capture almost all of the CO2 that is produced when making beer, filter it, and use it to clean bottles and to add bubbles to the beer.  They use a carbon recycling system.  The system is from a company named CoBrew, another Montana company that installs these systems in other industries.

Lolo Brewing captures and re-uses the equivalent of what 250 cars emit in one day.  The people at Lolo Peak indicate that the big brewers are looking at the technology as well.  The Lolo Peak people believe this is the way of the future for making beer.

And of course, they are not alone. Many other breweries are using innovative strategies to make their brewing processes more eco-friendly.  The Sierra Nevada Brewing Company based out of Northern California practices sustainable farming practices and has even won some awards for their leadership in the brewing industry for those practices. These feature a closed loop process through which they fertilize their gardens from organic compost that they actually created themselves with their own products. A perfect example of both recycling and efficiency! The Sierra Nevada beers carried in many of our stores include Torpedo Extra IPA and Pale Ale.

Another great brewery saving the planet with their brewing efforts is the New Belgium Brewing Company. Based out of Fort Collins, Colorado, this brewery has managed to improve upon their recycling process so much so that they diverted 99.9 percent of their waste from the landfill. New Belgium is working towards reducing the amount of water it takes to produce their beer, cutting their CO2 emissions, and increasing the amount of electricity that they use that is produced on-site through either solar power or biogas. Some New Belgium brews that can be seen on some of our shelves (varies by store) include Fat Tire Amber Ale and Dayblazer Easygoing Ale.

And those are just some of the fascinating examples you can find in the brewing industry. So when cracking a beer during Earth Week, keep in mind, the brewery that made the beer that you drink just might be saving the planet!