Brewery is Also a Power Plant

Here at Things Are Good we tend to like beer and we’re always happy to see the brewing process become more environmentally friendly. A smart inventor in the USA has found a way to convert a naturally occurring element of the brewing process and converts it into natural gas!

The brewery is Magic Hat and their motto is “Saving the earth, one beer at a time” – I can’t wait to try their beer.

The MIT-trained mechanical engineer has invented a patented device that turns brewery waste into natural gas that’s used to fuel the brewing process.

The anaerobic methane digester, installed last year at Magic Hat Brewing Co. in Vermont, extracts energy from the spent hops, barley and yeast left over from the brewing process — and it processes the plant’s wastewater. That saves the brewer on waste disposal and natural gas purchasing
The 42-foot tall structure, which cost about $4 million to build, sits in the back parking lot of Magic Hat’s brewery, where it came online last summer.

Fitch, 37, is CEO of PurposeEnergy, Inc., of Waltham, Mass., a renewable energy startup company whose lone product is the biphase orbicular bioreactor, which is 50 feet in diameter, holds 490,000 gallons of slurry and produces 200 cubic feet of biogas per minute.

Brewers big and small have wrestled with waste issues since the dawn of beer-making. In recent years, they’ve turned to recycling — both as a cost-saver and for environmental reasons.

Read the rest of the article.

Thanks Greg!

Read More

Earth Friendly Beers

Beer is good and here at Things Are Good we do drink a lot of it. We also know that beer can be pretty intensive in water consumption and other resoruces, so I’m happy to share the news of eco-friendly brewers.

New Belgium
Located in Fort Collins, CO, right up the road from me, New Belgium may just be the pinnacle of eco-friendly beer brewing. In 1999, New Belgium became the largest private consumer of wind-powered electricity, and is an employee-owned business that prides itself on its environmental stewardship, adhering to the following creeds:

1. Lovingly care for the planet that sustains us.
2. Honor natural resources by closing the loops between waste and input.
3. Minimize the environmental impact of shipping our beer.
4. Reduce our dependence on coal-fired electricity.
5. Protect our precious Rocky Mountain water resources.
6. Focus our efforts on conservation and efficiency.
7. Support innovative technology.
8. Model joyful environmentalism through our commitment to relationships, continuous improvement, and the camaraderie and cheer of beer

They take full advantage of the more than 360 days of sunshine in Fort Collins by using UV blocking windows, sun-tubes, and light shelves; they use evaporative coolers, which condition their 55,000 square foot packaging hall with no compressors; and at their public events like their philanthropic bike festival, Tour de Fat, New Belgium celebrates bicycling as a viable form of alternative transport while a solar-powered stage provides sound for the day

We’ve looked at one of these breweries, Steam Whistle, before.

To see the rest of the brewers check out The Good Human.

Read More

Truly Green Beer This St. Patrick’s Day

Many breweries have stepped up their efforts to limit the negative environmental effects of brewing beer. Steam Whistle Pilsner has earned praise from many an environmentalist for their progressive steps toward becoming a green brewery.

The Toronto-based brewery gets its electricity from Bullfrog Power, which uses wind and low-impact hydroelectric sources. Its cooling is by Enwave, which uses cold water from deep in Lake Ontario, and new brewing equipment that captures steam cuts their wastewater by a third. Its trucks run on biofuels and, thanks to improved route planning, they cut the amount of fuel they used last year by more than 7,000 litres – while increasing sales.

Of course, Steam Whistle isn’t the only brewery improving their environmental standards: Brasserie McAuslan in Montreal and Molson Coors have both reduced their water use in recent years.

You can read the whole article at The Globe and Mail.

Read More