More breweries than ever before are “going green” by recycling their ingredients and switching to solar polar, according to the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra).
Camra’s Good Beer Guide lists 19 breweries in England, Scotland and Wales that are making a contribution to reducing their carbon footprints, through methods such as recycling grain into animal feed and filtering waste water through environmentally friendly reed beds. In general, Camra claimed that “a growing number of British brewers are taking action to support the environment”.
One of the companies – Warwickshire-based Purity Brewing – was even named Sustainable Manufacturer of the Year in August.
Good Beer Guide editor Roger Protz said: “This is encouraging news. Brewers take the finest raw materials from the land in the form of grain, hops and water and now a growing number are ‘putting something back’ by recycling.
“In a number of cases, used grain and hops are sent to farms as animal feed while power for brewing is supplied by solar panels and biomass boilers, while water is cleaned and re-used.
“But it’s not just new craft breweries that are aiding the environment. Adnams, the large family-owned brewery in Southwold, Suffolk – whose beers are sold nationally – has been a pacesetter.”
Adnams’ new brewhouse in Southwold is low-carbon and uses 58% less gas than the equipment it replaced. All the steam created during the brewing process is recycled and spent grain and hops go to local farms for cattle and pigs. The walls are built of compressed hemp rather than concrete, which helps to maintain an even temperature inside, aided by heating powered by solar panels on the roof of the building, which is itself made of sedum, a succulent plant that acts as insulation. Rain water is even harvested to be used in the washing of equipment and delivery vehicles.
“This is a trend we’re seeing across the country as more breweries consider the impact of their business on the environment,” Protz continued. “Another example in Devon is Otter Brewery, where willow beds, ponds and lagoons help to recycle water and again the roof is made of sedum, which insulates the cellar and captures rainwater for cask and vehicle washing. As well as that more than half the ground floor was built underground, helping to keep the cellar cool and doing away with the need for electric chilling systems.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019