In a growing effort to be more environmentally conscious, a slew of Texas breweries have taken the plunge into sustainability. For these breweries, beer and sustainability go hand-in-hand. It's not recognition they seek, but a genuine concern for a healthier planet.
In an industry that requires massive amounts of energy and water, the concern for creating a quality product in an eco-friendly manner is on the rise. That's why these Texas-based breweries are doing their part to reduce wastewater, use green energy, and find methods to improve production as well as production facilities.
While you may not know it, these five Texas breweries have already taken that extra step to go green. It's the very efforts that let locals feel good about imbibing in sustainable beer. So raise a glass and cheers to supporting these sustainable Texas breweries.
1. Franconia Brewing Company
Franconia Brewing Company prides itself in using green brewing practices. Their energy efficient brewery is powered up by the sustainable energy company Green Mountain Energy.
Franconia didn't stop there, they also take care of their water. In the brewing process, water is one of the biggest waste factors - it takes roughly 31 barrels of water to brew one barrel of beer. Franconia solves this problem by collecting and reusing their water. They also recycle their mash by sending it off to Koster Kattle Company as cattle feed.
Oh, and did we mention they're so concerned with recycling, they don't even have a dumpster. Now that's recycling.
2. Hops & Grain Brewing
Hops & Grain does more than produce stellar craft beer, they produce it on a sustainable level. Their commitment to sustainability is practiced through "environmental stewardship, community involvement and industry leadership."
At their production facility, they take part in going green by recycling spent grain, repurposing their water, and canning. Their spent grain is sent off as cattle feed, while a portion is recycled into dog biscuits for your fury friend. The decision to can was a conscious effort on their part as cans are easier to recycle and more environmentally friendly than bottles.
They also give back to the community. Hops & Grain is dedicated to giving back to the community through volunteering with their environmental non-profit partners as well as donating 1 percent of their revenue.
3. Independence Brewing Co.
At Independence Brewing, they recognize the value of water as a precious resource. That's why they go to great lengths to conserve it. They capture the water from the heat exchanger - a piece of brewing equipment that uses water to cool wort before fermentation - and reuse it.
That's not their only method of going green. Independence is a repeated winner of the Good Food Award thanks to their commitment to sustainability. Their brewing practices, as well as ingredients, are focused on using quality products that promote environmental health. They choose to use malt that is pesticide-free and recycle it when it becomes spent grain. They not only recycle their spent grain by sending it off to a farm, they send it to a free-range one called Six J Ranch.
4. Jester King Brewery
If you've caught an aerial view of Jester King's production facility, then you know these guys are concerned with going green. The first certified organic brewery in Texas has made a drastic change in how they use energy. The roof of the 11,000 square foot brewery is covered in a 78-kilowatt solar power system. If the sun is shinning, the brewery has the ability to run off of 100 percent solar power. The solar panels also absorb heat, requiring less energy to cool the brewery.
Jester King isn't stopping there. Founder Jeffery Stuffings stated on his blog plans for their water that would increase their sustainability.
"We still need to develop the ability to catch our own rainwater, treat our wastewater for irrigation, and power our boiler off of biofuels and/or brewery waste. In the years ahead, we will continue to make improvements that will ultimately make us a truly sustainable brewery."
Big things are happening at this Teas Hill Country favorite, and it's not just good beer.
5. Save the World Brewing
Marble Falls, Texas
The name says it all. Save the World Brewing is dedicated to sustainable brewing. Their list of efforts to go green is rather impressive. They use solar panel energy, low electricity LED lighting, and re-use their 55 gallon blue barrel drums to catch rainwater. Along with rainwater, they recapture greywater to irrigate their landscape.
Their water efforts don't end there, they use an ozonator to provide water for sanitation. This nifty device means that they aren't sending their water filled with sanitizing chemicals to the city's water treatment plant.
This 100 percent philanthropic brewery not only does their part to be sustainable in the brewing process, they also give back to charity. They have donated over $50,000 to charities like Habitat for Humanity. Oh, and for their eco-friendly guests, they have an electric car charger onsite.
If you're in the area of one of these five fine establishments, pop on in and do your part in supporting sustainable beer. While these certainly aren't the only sustainable breweries in Texas, they are a snapshot of the larger craft beer sentiment toward sustainability.