Sustainable Brewing

Oregon has a reputation for being a “green” state. To honor Oregon’s environmental ways, the second annual Governor’s Sustainability Awards were held on December 11, 2008 to recognize sustainable practices used in businesses throughout Oregon.  This year, two Oregon breweries were honored with the award in the “Small Business” category. They were Full Sail Brewing (Hood River, OR) and Klamath Basin Brewing (Klamath Falls, OR).

Governor Kulongoski
Governor Kulongoski

As stated on the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department’s website, “The Governor’s Sustainability Awards Program is intended to promote and advance the inclusion of sustainable practices in government and the private sector. Sustainable practices are broadly defined as those that strive to optimize an organization’s financial, environmental and social performance. Also, Winners will show a commitment to sustainability that goes beyond compliance with regulatory requirements. Winners will be innovators in their fields and show that becoming more sustainable is not in conflict with achieving the organization’s core mission, whatever that may be. The Awards broadly defines sustainable practices as those that strive to optimize an organization’s financial, environmental and social performance.

So, you may be wondering what makes these two breweries so sustainable.

Here is an excerpt from Klamath Basin‘s web site indicating some of the ways they are uniquely sustainable:

“The brewery/brewpub is the only known brewing operation that uses geo-thermally heated water for the brewing process of making beer. What makes Klamath Basin Brewing Company unique is the water we use comes from the natural feed underground rivers that flow from the Cascade Mountain Range and the famous Crater Lake . This crystal clear mountain water is then heated by world renowned natural geo-thermal hot springs. The naturally earth heated hot water is added to the malted barley to extract the natural sugars from the grain. This barley is some of the finest malting barley in the world, that is grown right here in the Klamath Basin.” Not only that but founders Lonnie Clement and Del Azevedo also completely renovated an old creamery building built in 1935 in downtown Klamath Falls and turned into a brewery with the help of some friends.”

As for Full Sail, a press release dated January 5, 2009 lists the many ways Full Sail helps the environment:

Some of the company’s sustainability measures include:
*       Efficient brewhouse: The brewery is as sustainable and efficient
as possible, starting with the parts of the building that were reclaimed
and recycled when the brewery first opened in the old Diamond Fruit
cannery. The company utilizes energy measures such as energy-efficient
lighting and air compressors, and compresses the work week into four
very productive days, which helps reduce water and energy consumption by
20 percent.

*       Sustainable brew process: Pure water literally flows from the
peaks that surround the brewery, so Full Sail takes care to conserve
this precious resource. While average breweries consume six to eight
gallons of water for every gallon of beer produced, Full Sail has
reduced its consumption to a mere 3.45 gallons, and operates its own
on-site wastewater treatment facility. Local farms supply the other
essential ingredients for award-winning brews: 85 percent of hops and 95
percent of barley come straight from Northwest farms.

*       Reduce-Reuse-Recycle: Full Sail uses 100% recycled paperboard on 
all its packaging (and was one of the first in the industry to commit to
long-term purchasing of recycled paper products). Everything from office
paper to glass to stretch wrap to wooden pallets is recycled. Even dairy
cows are beneficiaries of brewery waste: 4,160 tons of spent grain and
1,248 tons of spent yeast are sent back to farmers every year to use as
feed for cows.

*       Community-wide practices: Full Sail purchases 140 blocks of
Pacific Power Blue Sky renewable energy per month. This practice results
in the reduction of 168 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent
of planting 33,000 trees. Full Sail also supports over 300 events and
charities each year, with a focus on those in Oregon. Employees at the
company have inspired environmental change among other businesses in the
Hood River area as well. Full Sail was a founding member of the Hood
River Chamber of Commerce’s Green Smart program, an initiative that
helps businesses and organizations within the Hood River watershed
increase their productivity and profitability by improving resource
efficiency and by reducing waste and pollution.

The 2007 recipient of the Governor’s Sustainability Award was Standing Stone Brewing located in Ashland, OR.  Check out the recent Brewpublic interview with owner Alex Amarotico to find out more on Standing Stone’s sustainable practices.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *