In total, 44 breweries competed across the three categories. Sponsored by BrewSavor by NewAge Industries, a solar-powered manufacturer of fluid transfer systems used in the brewing process, Brews from the Sun brought together solar and craft beer enthusiasts from around the country.
And the winners are…
- Maui Brewing Co. of Hawaii placed first in the regional brewery category,
- Mad Mole Brewing of North Carolina won in the microbrewery category, and
- Canal Park Brewing Co. of Minnesota took the crown in the brewpub category.
Since its start in 2005, Maui Brewing has always been committed to sustainability and is currently brewing its beer and distilling spirits with grid-independence.
“We’re honored to be selected as America’s Favorite Solar Craft Brewery for 2019,” said Garrett Marrero, Maui Brewing’s founder and CEO. “We’re leading the charge to demonstrate it is possible to manufacture high-quality beverages and be mindful of the community and the environment.”
Solar accounts for more than 80 percent of Maui Brewing’s electricity needs. By the end of the year they plan to be 100 percent powered by solar. Maui employs solar photovoltaic and solar thermal systems to provide electricity and hot water to brew the company’s beer. Maui Brewing’s 1.2 MW system was installed in 2017. They recently added battery storage to help achieve their goal of becoming grid-independent by the end of 2019.
Mad Mole is Wilmington, N.C.’s only solar-powered brewery. After opening the brewery in 2018, the owners didn’t waste time installing a 22-kW system to power the production of their beer.
“We were thrilled just to be associated with so many forward-thinking breweries,” said Ole Pederson, Martin de Jongh, Chris Worden and Thomas Varnum of Mad Mole Brewing. “We are grateful for all the support we have received from our wonderful customers and the local community. The competition helped raise awareness of the possibilities of solar.”
Solar United Neighbors is a national non-profit organization that empowers people to go solar, join together and fight for their energy rights. It helps thousands of people go solar every year through bulk purchases known as “solar co-ops” as well as through a paid membership program. Members receive on-going support for their solar system, discounts to businesses that have solar and join a community of solar supporters to ensure their investment in solar is protected.
Canal Park Brewing in Minnesota is a locally owned family venture with a long tradition of brewing craft beer. The brewery started off with a strip of land in Canal Park, keeping it from being turned into another parking lot, and then invested considerable time and money into cleaning up years of soil contamination left over from a long history of industrial pollution. Today the brewery sits on pristine land with amazing views of Lake Superior and downtown Duluth.
Solar panels had been in its plans for years, so the brewery was thrilled to finally get this project done (a 16.27 kW system).
“We’re thrilled that so many people voted for us,” says owner Paul Kaz.
“We’ve been working towards installing solar since we opened in 2012, so just getting the panels up and running was a huge win for us. Winning American’s Favorite Solar Craft Brewpub was icing on the cake. We’re so grateful for the support of our staff, those involved in designing and implementing our system, and of course every one of our customers who voted and continues to support us by stopping in for solar-powered craft beer.”