Earth Day is just around the corner and this year is even more monumental as Earth Day is celebrating its 50th anniversary! At Heinen’s, we are committed to doing our part to help the community and our planet by practicing sustainability in our stores. Even though Earth Day is is only one day of the year, our brewery partners are thinking about sustainability all year long. To celebrate Earth Day’s historic milestone, we wanted to shed light on the efforts our brewery partners are making to ensure that their products do right by the earth.
The Brew Kettle
The Brew Kettle is a brewery that has recently made monumental steps to ensure that its products are sustainably made. They are always looking for ways to reduce their impact on the environment, specifically by reducing their reliance on single-use plastics. A few years ago a small brewery in Florida invented a process that makes biodegradable six-pack rings out of spent grain from the brewing process. Taking inspiration from this innovation, The Brew Kettle has implemented the method into their own six-pack rings and will become the first brewery in Ohio to do so!
Additionally, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, The Brew Kettle is excited to launch their latest beer: Coastline. Coastline is a Mexican-style lager with a touch of sea salt and lime, perfect for the warm weather ahead. You can check out their new biodegradable six-pack rings by purchasing this special-release beer at Heinen’s. The Brew Kettle will be donating a portion of the proceeds from this beer to the local chapter of the Surfrider Foundation. This nationally recognized non-profit organization is dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of the oceans, Great Lakes and beaches. Not only do they work to ensure that our largest natural resource remains healthy, but they help with coastline preservation and keeping our beaches accessible for the next generation to enjoy.
The Brew Kettle stands by the sentiment that water plays a huge role in creating their product, so it’s vital for all communities to have clean water.
Saucy Brew Works
At Saucy Brew Works, local communities are their number one priority. They hold the belief that sustainable action allows them to improve their city, help neighbors and run their business in a way that positively utilizes waste production. From donating grain to a local rural farm to assisting in the reduction of plastic and waste, Saucy Brew Works is always doing their part to improve our environment. Knowing that sustainable practices have played a large role in the craft beer industry, the Saucy team is always looking to find creative ways to dispose of waste, assist local businesses and improve the efficiency of their operations.
Both in the brewery and the brewpub, Saucy Brew Works takes several actions to practice sustainability. In the brewery, they have a state-of-the-art, stainless steel energy-efficient BrauKon brewing system. They are fortunate to brew their beer using water from Lake Erie, which does not require alteration. Once the beer moves through the brewing process and goes into the fermenter, the team disposes of their spent grain by donating small amounts to their Hingetown neighbor, Larder, for baking. They then transport the remaining to Luther Farms where it is used to feed their animals including pigs and cows — the animals love it! On top of recycling their grain, they donate their used super sacks to local compost sites.
At their brewpub, they are very close to being plastic-free through the use of corn-made straws as well as recyclable carry-out packages and utensils. They’ve also found that producing seasonal specials allows them to serve the freshest flavors available from locally-grown ingredients.
By the end of the year, Saucy Brew Works hopes to be 100% free of all non-recyclable plastics and make more strides in composting. Between the brewery and the brewpub, they hope to have 95% of waste diversion going to landfills. In the meantime, they will continue donating to local businesses and farms and plan to increase these efforts as they open more locations. They are always keeping an eye out for new developments in technology that will allow for bigger and better programs and initiatives. They are firm believers that there’s always more that can be done to help!
Sustainability is an integral part of the culture at Bench Brewing. Located just a few hours north of our stores in Canada, this rural farmhouse brewery strives to use as many local inputs as possible from homegrown hops to fresh fruit from neighboring farms. , When it comes to the water used in their brewing process, Bench Brewing maintains the mantra “Conserve, Recycle and Reuse.” They source their water from the Niagara region of Ontario and feel that it’s perfect for the style of beer they love to make. For that reason, they value this water resource deeply and work hard to use it in a sustainable manner for brewing and irrigation of their land and crops. Putting water down the drain is simply not an option in their book.
“Conserve, Recycle and Reuse” is the mantra that they are always considering as they take new sustainable actions. They work diligently to use the least amount of water possible to make their beer. Currently, their ratio is 5 liters of water for every liter of beer produced, which is three liters less than average.
Bench Brewing has also constructed a water purification system onsite that treats all of their brewery wastewater, which consists only of water used for cleaning, brewing and packaging. They make sure to side stream all of their hops and yeast to ensure that the wastewater is easy to treat. Once treated, the water is used to irrigate their landscaping, hops field and even the neighboring apple orchard, fruit farm and vineyards. Their fruit farm provides inputs for their beers, creating a healthy cycle of sustainability.
The water is used during the growing season and then stored in a large retention pond during the winter months for use in the spring. This contributes to their efforts to create zero waste.
The hops and yeast used at Bench Brewery are put into a tank that holds all of the remnants of the treatment process including effective organics that have been stripped out of the water. They use this organic material from the purification process, as well as the spent hops and yeast, to create a nutrient-rich slurry that is applied to their hops field, orchard, fruit farms and vineyards as fertilizer.
All of their spent grains from brewing are given to a local farmer who uses it to feed his livestock year-round. This is yet another major contribution to their zero-waste efforts. Bench Brewing even offers four battery car chargers onsite in their parking lot available to customers and neighbors passing by the brewery.
In the future, Bench Brewing is excited to be exploring solar panels for their rooftops to generate renewable energy for their manufacturing process. They also hope to achieve a 4:1 ratio for wastewater to beer production to further conserve water usage and shrink their water footprint. As farmers, the Bench Brewing team experiences the need for sustainability every day and are certainly doing their part to make it a number one priority in all aspects of their work!
If you didn’t appreciate beer before, you sure will now thank the sustainable efforts our brewery partners are taking to make the world a healthier place.
With that, let’s raise a pint to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. Cheers!