New Belgium Brewery
Much like the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, New Belgium Brewery of Fort Collins, Colorado was founded (in 1991) by a home brewer who was hoping to reproduce his basement beer-making success on a nation-wide stage.
Not only did founder Jeff Lebesch achieve his goal in under two decades, he’s guided New Belgium Brewery to become the country’s third-largest craft brewer and 7th-largest overall brewer. Throughout, New Belgium Brewery has maintained a firm focus on operational sustainability and the welfare of their employees.
(image via: A Glass After Work)
New Belgium Brewery is currently aiming towards being a one hundred percent wind-powered operation and like New York City’s Brooklyn Brewery, the company pays an increased rate for electricity from wind and other clean sources. As well, roughly 10% of the brewery’s electric power is derived from methane gas collected from an on-site water treatment plant instead of being vented to the outside air.
BridgePort Brewing Company of Portland, Oregon was founded in 1984 by local winemakers Richard and Nancy Ponzi. Oregon is ranked 4th in a national listing of craft breweries per capita and BridgePort Brewing claims to be “Oregon’s Oldest Craft Brewery”. Along with pride in brewing appealing beer, BridgePort shares the Pacific Northwest’s concerns over environmental degradation and corporate/community responsibility.
(image via: Beer Street Journal)
BridgePort Brewing is a major proponent of the use of heat exchangers, making them “integral to the brewing process” and providing significant energy savings by re-using heat within their main brewery building. The company has endeavored to source as much of their raw materials locally as possible, importing malts and bottles from suppliers just eight miles away from their facilities.
On the back end, a local dairy gladly accepts spent grain and yeast from the beer-brewing process for use as feed for their livestock. As BridgePort states at their website, “We compost. We recycle. We keep a small footprint. Brewing is one of the many ways nature is nice to us. We try to be nice in return.”