It’s difficult for breweries to be considered eco-friendly businesses. Creating beer consumes tons of resources from hops to barley to water, and the brewing process creates a significant amount of waste and wastewater. I won’t even get into packaging, shipping and energy usage. That’s why it’s impressive when a brand like Fat Tire can market a carbon-neutral beer. Firestone Walker Brewing Co. is another craft brewery that comes to mind when balancing profit and purpose with sustainable practices.
Last year, Firestone Walker worked with Duke Energy to complete one of the largest on-site solar arrays in the craft beer industry – a 2.1-megawatt solar array and 281-kilowatt solar carport on 9.7 acres in Paso Robles, Calif. The arrays will generate the majority of the brewery’s energy, which is enough to brew and bottle 6 million cases of beer annually.
When it comes to transport and reuse, 90 percent of Firestone Walker’s brewing grains are delivered in bulk to eliminate packaging waste, and 10,000 tons of spent grains are recovered and fed to local livestock each year. The beer maker even has what it calls a “Boneyard” where it repurposes old equipment and where all excess cardboard, glass and aluminum is recycled. Learn all of this and more in the beautifully produced video above.
Walk around the brewery and the California countryside with the likes of Cofounders David Walker and Adam Firestone and Brewmaster Matt Brynildson as they explain the many ways Firestone Walker is conserving water, processing wastewater, creating energy and wisely using materials with a focus on creating a greener business.
“The more that we brew and the more raw materials that we buy, the greater responsibility we have to use those materials wisely,” says Mark Fischer, operations director at Firestone Walker, in the video above. “It’s not just about the bottom line. It’s about doing the right thing with the materials we’re purchasing.”
From the YouTube page:
Our clean energy efforts prevent more than 3,000 metric tons of carbon from entering our skies each year. We’re also eliminating waster wherever we can including feeding more than 18 million pounds of spent grains to local livestock. And we’re saving more than 40 million gallons of water annually through our recycling and conservation efforts.
Learn more watching the video above. It’s definitely beautifully shot.