Breweries eat up a lot of resources and they produce a lot of waste, so progressive beer makers should understand their businesses need to find a balance of product, profit and purpose. Richard G. Norgrove, founding brewmaster and current president and CEO at Bear Republic Brewing Co., describes his brewery’s philosophy as “a symbiotic relationship with, say, the community or the world that we live in” in the video above.
Cloverdale, Calif.’s Bear Republic Brewing has an impressive array of sustainability programs and processes at its facilities. Let’s go over a few, and maybe they’ll inspire your brewery or beer business.
- Norgrove estimates the brewery uses 3.5 to 3.75 gallons of water to brew one gallon of beer. Industry averages range from 5 to 7 gallons. The company uses flow meters and a plant-wide data collection system to monitor and strategize better ways to save water.
- The brewery installed a 100 percent U.S. manufactured component solar farm. There’s a 135-kW system at its Factory 5 Brewery and another 38-kW system at its Lakeside Brewpub.
- Bear Republic has an anaerobic digester that cleans the brewery’s wastewater and generates biogas. It’s a cool Cambrian Innovation system that you can read all about right here. Biogas is converted in a combined heat and power Turbine into 30 kW of clean electricity for generating heat in brewery water processes.
- Spent ingredients are reused and recycled when possible. Yeast is donated. Spent hops are strained and utilized as a soil amendment. Spent brewer’s grain ends up as livestock feed.
- The brewery’s Rohnert Park brewpub in Sonoma County is gorgeous and sits on Roberts Lake. When it was revamped, Beer Republic focused on using sustainable practices — recycled woods and concrete, used cargo containers, a used pizza oven and Solar panels.
- Beer Republic has installed electric car charging stations, which pull power from the solar panels.
Norgrove gives a special shoutout to Peter Kruger, Bear Republic’s master brewer and COO, for his decades of dedication to the company’s sustainable business practices. Learn more by watching the vide above.