11 Nov Sustainable Brewing
As brewers, it’s our responsibility to take care of the environment. Let’s face it: when craft beer is environmentally friendly, it tastes even better! Cheers!
Like most other places across the globe, Australia has contributed to some pretty insane CO2 emissions — as of 2018, we ranked 16th in the world (little known fact: beers are made with natural ingredients, so if we seem overprotective of the environment feel free to call us eco-brewerriors).
And the brewing process alone uses massive amounts of power — we need electricity throughout, from production to refrigeration of the final product.
Sustainable brewing is an absolute necessity for the future of the industry and *spoiler alert* the planet. For our industry to minimise the footprint on the environment, brewers’ aim should go beyond ‘reduce, reuse and recycle,’ and explore innovative practices which can redefine the impact of brewing on the planet.
This is why sustainable brewing comes hand in hand with renewable energy. Renewable energy (from solar or wind power) produces no greenhouse gases or polluting emissions and is also inexhaustible. At 3 Ravens we aim to establish a most efficient facility with respect to process quality and energy efficiency, whilst minimising harm and maximising community benefit through our operations. As part of our environmental and marketing strategies a move to significantly reduce emissions from brewing operations is already underway.
Typically, it takes between 50-60 kWh to produce a barrel of beer. To cut our carbon footprint, our Thornbury brewery is already using a radiant-reflective cool roof and a 74kW solar PV system that reduces CO2 emissions. This reduction in grid-based electricity is the equivalent to taking 24 cars off the road (we’re stoked to be working with environmental engineer legend, Jon Fettes, from Regenerate Engineering). This has also significantly reduced both the cost and the emissions intensity of the energy used onsite.
Unfortunately, this subject is far too untapped, so we need to keep talking about it. In the U.S. alone, fewer than 1% of microbreweries and brewpubs attended the 2016 Brewer’s Association benchmarking study on the sustainability subject. This is a global issue that has far-reaching implications beyond Australia.
On a happier note, all breweries across the world can make simple changes that leave a lasting positive impact: from waste management and using solar energy, to recycling and changing the way their supply chain is managed.
Our way of igniting change is to influence other breweries towards adopting state of the art processes that reduce the carbon footprint of their manufacturing processes and products — just as we aim to do.