Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Launches New Program for Local Breweries

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation has launched a new program for local distilleries, breweries and wineries with the goal to reduce their environmental impact.

One local company is working to become more environmentally friendly.

When you go to a local brewery, you probably think about the long process it takes for that beverage to hit your table. What you might not think about is the environmental impact that beer has.

Jackalope Brewing Company is thinking about that and the fruits of their labor are being recognized by the state. The company just became one of the first breweries in the state to join the Tennessee Sustainable Spirits Program. The program honors and recognizes breweries, wineries and distilleries that reduce their overall environmental impact with sustainable practices and lower energy costs.

“It just kind of grew with a lot of small changes,” said Kristen Westerbeck, Jackalope Brewing Company.

It was small changes that led to big impacts. It’s a unique technique they’re doing involving re-using their own created CO2.

“It’s a box that captures CO2 off of fermentation, so it stores it, holds on to it, and we use it later on in the packaging process,” said Westerbeck.

Using this technique saves about 100,000 pounds of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere each year. Currently there are only four companies that are a part of the Sustainable Spirits Program.

The ultimate goal is to have all of Tennessee’s alcohol producers adopting greener practices.

While companies like Jackalope are investing in greener technology, the good news is the consumer won’t notice a huge change in the price of a beer.

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