View Full Version : Environmentally sustainable brew pubs - data?

11-04-2007, 12:45 PM
Does anyone have any metrics, financial or other, around the business case for sustainability for a small brew pub?
Some aspects I'm considering are energy use, building structure, waste, local ingredients, and employee morale, but unfortunately I don't have any real data to back up my case. Anything big that I'm forgetting? Any resources that you can point me to? I just discovered Chris O'Brien's site (http://beeractivist.wordpress.com/) and plan to read his book.
Any advice, metrics, opinions, resources, etc. would be greatly appreciated.
In case anyone is wondering, this is for an MBA project and I'd be happy to share my presentation if anyone is interested.


11-05-2007, 08:10 AM
I know of a few studies on the ingredient side:

Supplying Locally Produced Ingredients for Craft Brewers

Raising Field Crops and Hops Organic

Colorado MicroMalting Project 2001, Stephen Weiler is back at CSU if you have questions

11-05-2007, 12:52 PM
Talk with the guys starting up Hopworks Urban Brewery in Portland-- 100% organic, energy recovery system, and I'm sure a few other neat things I'm forgetting.


11-05-2007, 08:50 PM
Thanks to you both for the excellent information - very helpful.
Does anyone happen to know anything about environmentally friendly sanitation methods for brewing equipment and how they compare to the typical sanitation methods?
How about data around approximate costs for spent grain disposal?
Data around the market analysis for organic beer?
Anything else that would help build a good business case?
I'm surfacing a lot of good ideas for the case, just not the hard data to back it up.

Thanks for your help!

11-06-2007, 05:26 AM
>Does anyone happen to know anything about environmentally friendly
>sanitation methods for brewing equipment and how they compare to the
>typical sanitation methods?

Steam / heat would probably be your best bet for environmentally friendly sanitation, but it only gets you so far, and you'd need a source of clean steam. You still need an acid for scale / beer stone removal also, but I think there are organically produced acids & maybe caustics out there (may want to consult with an organic brewery on this one). Five Star Chemical always touts their environmental friendlines

>How about data around approximate costs for spent grain disposal?
The most environmental friendly way of disposing grain / trub / dead yeast is by giving it to a farmer. Find a local farmer and tell them you want to give away your spent grain for free, and they should be pretty happy to make a deal with you.

>Data around the market analysis for organic beer?
If Anheuser Busch is doing it, then there has to be some potential! Apparently Mintel has some data on organic beer (as far as it's recent growth)-- http://www.mintel.com

>Anything else that would help build a good business case?
If you don't already, having someone experienced in the brewing industry on board is a good start.

Being able to show branding (logos, potential labels, etc.) before going to investors helps to make the idea more real to them.

Being able to provide a best case and worst case scenario when you give them a proforma shows you are realistic. There's money to be made in craft brewing, but it usually takes 3-5 years before any money is made, and even then it's modest. It probably takes 5-10 years of investment for a successful brewery to start paying a decent return.

Probably the most important thing is finding investors that are fans of craft beer! There are perks to being an investor at a brewery when the investor loves beer. They'll also have a greater understanding that investing in a brewery is not a short term investment.

I'm just getting started on my brewery, so I hope this helps but there is probably better advise out there to be given. Good luck!

11-13-2007, 07:13 AM
Sierra Nevada is in the October issue of Sustainable Facility for energy use and generation:
Pristine Power, Premium Beer

Followed by an great article on water use

11-13-2007, 12:00 PM
Great thread; bet we'll be seeing a lot more like it in the near future... Check out the guys in Ann Arbor, MI (Leopold Bros?) for some great brewpub specific ideas as well.