Good read about “sustainable beer” at American Progress. Fat Tire is one of my favorite beers, and 1554 and Skinny Dip are pretty bloody good also. We drink a lot of New Belgium brews around here, though the company’s “Fat Tire Festival” – a musical mountain biking tour with lots of good beer – was banned by the city last year because it simply got too out of hand.
It turns out more people show up to the event in Flagstaff than anywhere else – including Fort Collins where it’s made or even Boulder. So instead of managing this phenomenon and the inevitable chaos and cash that it comes with, the city is just offing it altogether. Pretty stupid.
But the green efforts at New Belgium are pretty neat:
New Belgium Brewing, for example, meets 30 percent of its energy needs by putting its water waste in enclosed pools with anaerobic bacteria. The bacteria feed off the nutrient-rich water to produce methane gas, which is converted into energy for the factory. The remaining 70 percent of the energy they consume comes from renewable sources.
New Belgium Brewing also conducts Life Cycle Assessments of its beers to determine the material and energy flows at each stage in the brewing process. “It’s a tool to improve not just the sustainability of our company, but of our industry, too,” say founders Kim and Jeff. A six-pack of their Fat Tire label produces 35 percent fewer emissions than the industry average.