Here are just a few of the ways we're putting our commitment into action:
1. Green Building
The greenest building is the one that is already there. That's why we feel good about giving new life to some old military warehouses at Vint Hill, repurposing them as our brewhouse, warehouse, offices and taproom.
We've installed a state of the art geothermal system that heats and cools the taproom and offices, preheats the hot water for our dishwashing and bathrooms, and provides refrigeration for the drive-in and walk-in coolers where our beer is stored. To achieve this, we've installed eighteen 500-foot deep geothermal wells, connected to twelve geothermal heat pumps for heating, cooling, and refrigeration throughout the facility. We anticipate about 60% reduction in overall energy use attributable to the geothermal system.
3. Energy Efficient Brewhouse and Water Conservation
Because hot water is used throughout the brewing process we make an effort to conserve both heat and water as we brew. We’ve invested in equipment and systems that recapture heat where it is created, and use it where it is needed.
Before our hot wort can move to the fermentation step, it must be cooled so that it won't kill the yeast. We cool the wort by running cold water through a coil of pipes adjacent to the pipes that transport the wort into our fermentation tanks. The cold water absorbs the heat where it is not wanted, and then we pump that heated water to our hot liquor tank conserving the heat and saving energy as we boil water for our next brew!
We have also invested in a special heat exchanger installed on our boiler to capture heat from exhaust that would otherwise have escaped into the air. With the help of a pump and some extra piping, this heat is ‘recycled’ and is also used to preheat water in our brewing process.
In addition to these heat recapturing processes, we have reduced our water usage through awareness and conservation practices, as well as through investment in water saving equipment. One such devise is a special filter on our bottling line that captures rinse water as we bottle, and carefully filters it so it can be reused. Through all of these practices we have been able to brew our beer with a water to barrel ratio 24% below the industry average.
4. Supporting Local Farms while Reusing Spent Grain
Once all of the brewing goodness has been extracted from the barley, there is still plenty of nutrition left behind. We've partnered with local farms to make sure our spent grain doesn't go to waste. All our spent grain is put into tubs, which are then picked up and taken just down the road to our local cattle!
We are proud to do our part to make sure the natural resources that are available for us, are available for our great-great grandchildren as well. We hope you will consider ways you can help too. You can save on packaging by buying from the Brewery in Bulk. We’ll help you find the right home dispensing system for our half kegs or sixtels, or if that’s not workable, pick up a refillable growler and we’ll fill it for you with our high pressure growler filler!