OK, so what are we specifically doing to enact our commitment to sustainability? Sara Nelson, Chief Strategist of FBC, author of Brewer's Blog and Founder/Brewer Matt Lincecum's wife, details below all the steps FBC has taken or will take to implement the principles of sustainability where they really count: in practice, not pure theory.
Implementing Sustainability at Fremont Brewing Company
Fremont Brewing Company Sustainable Brewing and Beer Fremont Brewing Company (FBC) is located at 3409 Woodland Park Avenue. It occupies an 8,000 sq. ft warehouse rented from the Fremont Dock Company. We have subdivided the space into two, 4,000 sq. ft. units and have sublet the other half to a local green technology company. FBC is zoned C40 and abuts an industrial zone. FBC will open in June, 2009 and will sell beer at local markets, restaurants, and bars. The facility will include a tasting room (no food) with sweeping views of Mt. Rainier, Lake Union and the Seattle skyline.
In addition to joining the Seattle Climate Partnership, FBC is taking the following steps to reduce our carbon footprint and implement principles of sustainability.
- Organic grains from Gambrinus Malting in British Columbia. The alternative is to use grains from Wisconsin.
- Locally grown hops from Puterbaugh Farms in the Yakima Valley.
- Working with a local organic farmer to plant a test plot of organic hops for use in FBC’s beer. FBC will continue to seek out and support farmers who want to grow organic hops. If they grow them, we will use them. FBC will also source other breweries that want to use organic hops in order to create a market pull for organic Washington-grown hops. Washington State is the world’s second largest producer of hops yet produces not a single acre of commercially viable hops. FBC will act as a catalyst for the evolution of our hop market.
- All used equipment
- Brew system from Red Lodge Brewery in Red Lodge, MT
- Fermentation tanks from Georgetown Brewing
- 400 sq ft walk-in refrigerator sourced from Costco
- Marketing materials
- Locally sourced designers and manufacturers for all materials, such as shirts, glasses, tap handles, signs, coasters, etc. Only recycled paper is used.
- Energy conservation
- Participate in the Seattle City Light’s Green Up Program.
- Increased natural light through expanded windows, white walls.
- Exchange 20 400 watt halide lights to fluorescent lighting, reducing consumption by approximately 50%.
- Heat recapture: use heat from refrigeration and fermentation temperature control unit (the glycol unit) to heat production space and, eventually, the tasting room; recapture hot water from brewery process for reuse.
- Variable Speed Drive air compressor. The VSD feature is more expensive but better regulates output when pump is not in use, saving approx. 25-30% of consumption.
- There will either be a dual pump system or a VSD pump for the glycol unit.
- Occupation light sensors
- Process heat waste (from equipment) will be used to heat the space, instead of gas blowers.
- Metering: micro data lockers will be installed to establish baseline energy usage and submeters will be installed on major equipment to continuously monitor usage.
- Surface water run-off reduction: Green roof of horizontally grown hops fed by CO2 (a natural byproduct of fermentation), which is normally off-gassed into the environment.
- Waste reduction:
- Spent grains (the “mash”) will be given to the co-located tenant, Blue Marble Energy, for use in the production of their product and electricity generated as a by product of Blue Marble’s production will be given back to FBC, thereby reducing the total electrical need. If Blue Marble relocates to a different facility, FBC will keep the technology on site to be able to process the mash from the several breweries in the Fremont/Ballard (Hales, Dad Watson’s, Maritime Pacific).
- CANNING: FBC will put its beer in cans instead of bottles. Canning is more sustainable than bottling in many ways. FBC hopes to spur other microbreweries to can their beer, thus reducing the overall transport emissions from microbreweries. FBC will be the first organic microbrew in a can.
- FBC will can on-site, reducing transport emissions.
- Recycling aluminum is less resource-intensive than recycling glass. FBC will purchase recycled cans from a company in Kent, WA. They contain 90% recycled material (compared to 0% contained in amber bottles).
- Canned beer is lighter than bottled beer and occupies a smaller footprint per 12 oz package, thereby allowing more product per transport mile, thus reducing transport emissions.
- Beer in cans lasts longer because it is not exposed to light, reducing refrigeration requirements.
- FLOORING: FBC used a low VOC floor cleaner and floor sealant (plant-based) that will be applied every year. The alternative to this treatment is a highly toxic floor treatment.
- OUR BEER
- Organic (we use organic hops and grain as much as possible but we are not yet certified.)
- Locally produced: Seattle born, Seattle based
- Locally enjoyed (for now)