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In recent years, sustainability has become an increasingly important trend across various industries. As consumers become more (and more) environmentally conscious, companies are cognizant of building and marketing for new generation buyers. Electronic vehicles (EVs), for example, is one of the most notable industries to have experienced dramatic improvements as industry leaders lead the push for a cleaner future. Craft breweries, too, are taking steps to reduce their environmental impact in several ways. By utilizing locally sourced ingredients, reducing waste, and employing renewable energy sources, craft breweries are doing their best to lead to a better future!

Sourcing ingredients locally is a key way breweries have been able to promote sustainable practices. Purchasing ingredients from local farmers reduces the carbon footprint associated with transportation, while also supporting local farmers and producers—small businesses that make up the backbone of America! Using locally grown hops, barley, and other unique ingredients also reduces the reliance on large scale, commercial suppliers and create a more sustainable supply chain. Further, utilizing ingredients from closer to home can bring out the flavors of different regions from around the country and the world, leading to unique drink experiences for all craft beer drinkers.

Reducing waste is another important aspect of sustainability. As The Session explored in a previous article, breweries waste a boatload of water with every brew! Repurposing the wastewater to be useful in cleaning and irrigation is a great way to not waste as much. Tons of spent wheat, barley, and packaging materials are also wasted during the brew cycle. Often, breweries will use these spent ingredients as animal feed or compost—anything to not let it go to total waste!

A third way breweries are working towards a more sustainable future is by exploring renewable energy sources to power their operations. Many breweries are installing solar panels or wind turbines, taking advantage of the natural elements to generate electricity. Some breweries are even using biogas generators to convert waste products into energy, thus reducing their reliance on non-renewable sources of energy such as coal and natural gas.

Overall, the sustainability trend pushing into 2023 leaves all companies in various industries searching for ways to reduce our environmental impact. It is exciting to see the craft beer industry with breweries taking significant steps towards reducing their carbon footprint and promoting eco-friendliness. By utilizing locally grown ingredients, taking steps to reduce waste, and moving towards green energy, breweries are demonstrating a true commitment to sustainability and showing it is possible to be environmentally responsible and enjoy great beer at the same time.



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