The brewing process is energy intensive, and as a response to that, and a nod to the growing importance of brewing as a local industry, the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have identified and awarded energy efficiency grants to five Wisconsin craft brewers.
“Brewing is an iconic Wisconsin industry and is growing rapidly with more than 60 craft brewers in the state,” said DOA secretary Mike Huebsch. “These funds will not only help Wisconsin brewers conserve energy, they also promote industry growth.”
Wisconsin is granting $100,000 for cost-effective energy investments at five Wisconsin craft breweries, which the brewers will match in $250,000 of their own funds.
Five Wisconsin craft brewers listed below received $20,000 to assist with their energy efficiency or renewable energy projects. Funding for this project was provided by DOA through the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program.
The five craft brewers are:
Lakefront Brewery: Boiler system upgrades. The current system has a maximum efficiency estimated at 73 percent. The project will replace this boiler with an energy efficient boiler that has a maximum efficiency of 98 percent.
Milwaukee Brewing Co.: Installation of a solar hot water system. Milwaukee Brewing Co. will install a solar hot water system at its facility that is expected to help reduce its energy costs by 27 percent in the brewing process. The project at the brewery will include 28 solar panels to pre-heat water used in the brewing process, as well as large solar storage tanks and controls.
3 Sheeps Brewing Co.: Installation of glycol-jacketed fermenters to make operations more efficient. The glycol-jacketed conical fermenters will be used to chill their product. These fermenters can be removed from the cooler which allows the cooler space to be used for packaged goods.
Valkyrie Brewing Co.: Fossil fuel energy-reduction plan. This plan will replace most of their current use of fossil fuels with vegetable oil from locally grown seed, waste vegetable oil from local restaurants, and waste oil from local auto mechanic garages. These oils will be used to fuel a boiler to heat water that is used during the brewing process and will also heat part of the brewery.
Red Eye Brewing Co.: Install a 9 kilowatt (KW) solar photovoltaic (PV) system. This will produce 11,000 kilowatt-hours annually and about 4 percent of the current electricity needs of the facility.
The projects are expected to be completed by June 30.