Five years ago this November, the idea for the Iowa Green Brewery Project (IGBC) had just begun developing. The Iowa Waste Reduction Center was looking to continue providing free environmental assistance to Iowa businesses, but on a more specific level. The craft beer industry was a natural fit. Resource intensive, rapidly expanding statewide, and industry interest in environmental stewardship, the IGBC started to gain traction.
NoCoast Beer Co., out of Oskaloosa, IA, achieved the Iowa Green Brewery Certification's Platinum award. NoCoast Beer Co. surpassed their bronze-level certification and is now the fourth Iowa brewery to ever earn a Platinum level achievement. https://iwrc.uni.edu/green-brewery
Two World Beer Cup winners have earned the Iowa Green Beer Certification developed by the Iowa Waste Reduction Center.
As breweries prepare and begin to reopen, now is a great time for a refresher on the basics of sustainable implementations within breweries. The world that we are returning to is a new normal, and while many things are changing, it is also important to remain focused on practices that should continue to be upheld in the coming months.
As April ends and May begins, we still find ourselves in the midst of possibly the most impactful of our lifetime. COVID-19 has clinched control of all aspects of society. Our daily lives and routines have been significantly altered, along with how we conduct business. For breweries, these unprecedented times are hitting the bottom line hard. The Brewers Association (BA) recently launched a COVID-19 impact survey which pointed out some staggering, yet anticipated responses.
Crafting quality beer in a socially and environmentally responsible way is being done today by breweries of all sizes. After a recent visit to Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee, WI, we realized how many sustainable practices are being executed by this company that is producing over 40,000 Bbl of beer a year. With the owner’s mindset already focused on being environmentally friendly, the team at Lakefront took this commitment and ran with it. To list every sustainable effort that Lakefront has implemented would take far too long, so here are just a few highlights.
March has been an impactful month for the entire world. Our focus, our lifestyle and our daily routines have been completely altered by this current COVID-19 pandemic. Craft breweries are just one of many industries that are being heavily impacted during this time, yet the amount of resiliency that will continue to be seen, as we push forward, is quite inspiring. A lot of negativity has been brought to light surrounding the COVID-19 virus, so this is a great opportunity for us to take that ‘pint glass half-full’ outlook on these circumstances as it relates to craft beer.
With a new decade, brings new and even more innovative ideas for beers to be made. From the now all-so familiar whiskey barrel-aged stout with coffee and chocolate, to the Double IPA loaded with an abundance of different hop varietals and kettle sours featuring every fruit that you could ever think of. All of these beers have something in common, and that is the less than ordinary ingredients.
It is well known that a major topic relating to the production of beer is water. As many most likely know, beer is made up of roughly 95 percent water. However, the amount of water used specifically for the production of beer is far greater. According to the Brewer’s Association, somewhere around 70 percent of that production water intake will end up as effluent (the wastewater that is generated and discharged through the sewer system.) Some of the main inputs in effluent which contribute to total suspended solids (TSS) include spent grain, yeast, and hops.
We have only seen a month of 2020 so far, and yet that short amount of time has been filled with both incredible environmental tragedy, as well as hope in looking towards the future.