Beer and spirits are just a part of life for many people. A glass of wine after dinner, a beer after work, a drink to take the edge off every now and then. But most people don’t know how much environmental damage traditional brewing processes can wreak. Try some eco-friendly brews and booze and find out how easy it is to quench your thirst while doing just a little bit more to improve the health of the planet.
Based in Los Angeles, Greenbar Distillery is a carbon-negative alcohol brand. For every bottle sold, a tree is planted. The distillery sells organic spirit blends, such as Grand Poppy Amaro, Tru Garden Vodka and Slow Hand Six Woods Whiskey.
Related: New winery in France is serving sustainable alcohol
Dog Point Vineyards in New Zealand does double duty as a preserve for native plants. All the grapes are organically grown, harvested by hand and then transformed into delicious wine. The vineyard is known for its Sauvignon blanc, if you’re looking to try a taste of this vineyard.
Reyka Vodka harnesses the power of the Earth itself. Their vodka is distilled through geothermal heating methods using hot springs. It’s made from spring water and then filtered through volcanic rocks. That is some pretty Earth-friendly drinking.
On the other hand, New Belgium Brewing has been making Earth-friendly spirits since it was established in 1991. The distillery diverts 99.9% of waste from landfills and the brewery itself is powered by solar and wind. The minds behind the brewery have also established a fund to donate millions of dollars to environmental causes. That means every purchase goes to help the future of the planet.
Flor de Cana hits all the talking points. Not only is their rum Fair Trade Certified, it’s also made with 100% renewable energy and it’s even got a carbon neutral certification. The distillery has been in the spirits game for over 130 years and for over 100 years, providing free education to all employees. Since 1958, medical care for all employees has been covered by the company.
Hopworks Urban Brewery uses less than 3.5 gallons of water for every gallon of beer they make, which is about half the industry standard. The company also launched a plastic bag recycling program. Try the Beestly Organic Honey Porter made with all-organic malts, hops and clover honey.
Sierra Nevada Brewing Company has 10,000 solar panels on the property, enough to cover three football fields. They also have a heat and steam recovery system. The production facility is LEED Platinum Certified, which is as good as it gets for green construction. Both breweries operated by this company are designed to capture carbon dioxide created during fermentation and use it for production and packaging purposes. Even rainwater is collected on-site and reused to flush the toilets. Electric vehicle charging stations are standard in the parking lots and all food waste is composted and used for fields of barley and hops.
Worthy Brewing uses solar panels to provide some of its electricity and re-purposes used grain as cattle feed. Every purchase made also supports Operation Appleseed. This campaign’s purpose is to plant one million trees in Oregon. So the more beer you drink, the more you’re helping out.
Ninkasi Brewing is covering several eco-friendly angles through its brewing practices. The company saves and reuses as much water as possible. All paper products are recycled and spent grain is given to farmers to use as cattle feed.
Odell Brewing is also committed to reducing its carbon footprint. The brewery is reducing CO2 emissions and is completely wind-powered.
These breweries will soon be joined by many more that are focusing on more Earth-friendly business practices. Anheuser-Busch, the company behind Budweiser, plans to be using 100% renewable energy by 2025. Its example could inspire many other national breweries to do the same.
Additionally, several companies are focused on another aspect of the beer and spirits industry: packaging. E6PR makes biodegradable six-pack rings, a real game-changer in the beverage market and waste pollution. PakTech, an Oregon company, creates packaging using 100% recycled hard plastic. Meanwhile, Guinness will release all products brewed at their Baltimore facility in compostable, biodegradable carriers.
More and more companies are taking steps to become eco-friendly and better for the health of the planet overall. So the next time you’re going to pick out a beer or something to sip on after a tough day, consider an eco-friendly brewery that’s doing its part to better the planet.
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