Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bristol Brewing Going Green

KXRM Fox 21 out of Colorado Springs posted an article about the latest push from Bristol Brewing Company to take their brewing operations green. Going "Green" is becoming more and more popular by many types of businesses and not just breweries. Read on for what plans one Colorado Springs, Colorado brewery has in mind.

Bristol Brewery Goes Green
By Laura Forbes - April 28, 2008

Green beer is normally reserved for Saint Patrick's Day Bristol Brewing Company is going green year round. Bristol has been in Colorado Springs for about 14 years. Owner Mike Bristol believes in looking to local resources to help the company help the earth.

"A lot of people brag about going green because we're doing this, but in our case, a lot of the things we attribute to being green are things we don't do," said Bristol.

For example, they don't ship beer outside of Colorado. "In the beer world distribution is the biggest problem, when it comes to an environmental footprint." said Bristol. "Its trucking beer, its dense, its heavy."

About 85% of Bristol beer stays in Southern Colorado, distributed on bristol's own truck, a mix of 20 percent bio-diesel. And about 65% of the beer goes out in draft form, so containers are reused. "As everybody knows being able to reuse is a whole lot better than recycling," said Bristol.

That was the idea behind another green move-- giving customers a ten cent credit for every six-pack carrier they bring in.

"You've got all the energy that goes into recycling, you've got to break it down and make it into something else. With ours, you bring in the carriers, and they go 50 feet and get filled up again," said Bristol.

Some of their specialty ingredients are locally grown and harvested, like the honey for Beehive Honey Wheat. And they have several green connections to Venetucci Farm. What's left behind from the barley used in beer making is known as spent grain, or mash. Bristol generates about 20,000 pounds a year. Instead of throwing it out, it is given to the farm.

Susan Gordon is a farm director at Venetucci. She said, "It had been used as a fertilizer on our fields, and we began using it as a supplemental feed for the chickens and the pigs."

"Its very helpful because it keeps our feed costs down," said Gordon. "The feed costs have really dropped since we started giving it to them."

Bristol is trying to grow organic hops at Venetucci. Its still experimental, and may not work in the Colorado climate. While Bristol says he'd like to buy from organic farmers, the quality just isn't there, at least, not yet.

"As soon as we can put out an organic beer that's as good as what we're going now, we'll jump on that," said Bristol. He says that's probably still a few years out, but it is still part of a long term plan to tap into green technology.

"Every time we do an expansion of our brewing equipment, we look at how we can be more efficient, easier on our people, easier on the world, so its sort of an ongoing thing, its part of every decision that we make," said Bristol.

He is looking at expanding his current location on Tejon Street, or moving to a larger space. After that, he says he will likely put in solar energy and heat recovery systems, probably within three to five years.

Related articles:
- Bristol Brewing to release Old 23 Barleywine.
- Bristol Brewing Laughing Lab review.
- 2008 All Colorado Beer Fest highlights.

This article came from FermentedlyChallenged.com
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