In case you needed another excuse to drink great beer…
I’ve got the easiest and possibly most enjoyable eco friendly habit for you. Habit #7 is Drink Responsibly.
If you’re concerned about water, energy, and IBUs… craft beer is for you and you should enjoy it more knowing that by choosing a local craft brew over an international giant, you’re decreasing your environmental footprint.
From the hops to the packaging and delivery, the environmental impact of beer can add up.
- Water usage for the brewing process is about 5:1 – To make one liter you need five liters of water, and…
- Considering the ingredients like the barley and hops that go in, the ratio of water to beer produced moves up to 61-180:1 – That’s anywhere from 8-24 gallons of water just for one pint!
- It takes about 0.2 kilowatt-hours of energy to brew a pint of beer which is enough energy to power a 40″ TV for almost 3.5 hours.
So now that you’re appreciating every sip a bit more, let’s see how microbreweries are working to reduce these stats.
- Stone Brewing reclaims 75,000 gallons of water each day
- New Belgium diverts 99.9% of their waste from landfills
- Alaskan Brewing’s CO2 recovery system prevents over 1 million pounds of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere each year. That’s the equivalent of the emissions from 45,000 gallons of gas.
- More: microbrew sustainability facts
I looked into it and I was surprised to find the lengths to which some microbreweries are going to be environmentally friendly. Some have gone as far as foregoing profits in order to make their production more sustainable. I dig deeper into it here: The Sustainability of Craft Beer.
Check out the resources section below to see if your favorite beer is from one of the most sustainable US breweries and remember: when in doubt, drink local.
Your Action Items
When you drink, drink responsibly. Support local breweries that are working toward being sustainable and that are a part of your community. Investing in them will be an investment in the environment and your community. Plus, the beer tastes better!
Like being sustainable? Join the club:
Water Consumption of Brewing
You can learn a little bit more about water use in the brewing process in this short Triple Pundit post: How Much Water Did It Take to Make That Pint of Beer.
Energy Consumption of Beer
The Brewer’s Association outlines the industry average of energy use, renewable energy, energy reduction best practices, and much more in their Energy Usage, GHG Reduction, Efficiency and Load Management Manual. In a much more concise explanation, Ember Strategies breaks down the energy use to brew a pint of beer.
Sustainability Efforts of Microbreweries
These posts from various sources like Triple Pundit and CraftBeer.com highlight some of the steps microbreweries are taking to reduce their environmental impact.