Three sustainability-minded craft brewers from Colorado joined last week’s Brew Talks meetup, held at New Belgium Brewing in Fort Collins, Colo., to share methods for scaling an eco-friendly brewery with more than 100 industry professionals.
New Belgium’s director of sustainability Jenn Vervier, along with Upslope Brewing’s director of brewing operations, Dany Pages, and Taylor Kranz, a brewer with Fort Collins Brewery, explained how their companies have prioritized environmental sustainability over profits as they’ve grown.
Jenn Vervier explained that brewery owners concerned about the cost of building sustainable features into their facilities should consider future projects from the onset, even if it’s not within their current budget.
“I think you look at first costs versus overall project costs, and those things that are most effective to put in as your whole construction team is mobilized,” she said. “You maybe buttress the structure of your roof to put on solar PV, because you’re building the building, but you don’t put on the panels themselves until a couple years later.”
Krantz agreed, saying that the decision to build environmentally friendly features into a brewery is somewhat “situational.”
“You have to look at your business and where you’re at and what makes sense,” he said.
While the group said sustainability should be top-of-mind for all craft brewery operators, Pages believes most U.S. craft brewery owners aren’t thinking green.
“You can be, to a certain degree, sustainable being a small brewery. It’s just you need have the intention,” he said.
Watch the full discussion above, or over on the Brewbound YouTube Channel. A short behind the scenes interview with New Belgium’s assistant director of sustainability, Katie Wallace, is also featured below.