Thursday, September 22, 2016

Upslope Brewing is turning Waste into Ink

We've heard of breweries doing many wonderful things with their leftover waste products, but this is the first time I've heard of anyone using it to create a form of ink before. Check out the latest collaborative effort Upslope is doing with local businesses.

Upslope Brewing Announces Sustainability Project with Boom Algae and Living Ink Technologies

[Press Release] BOULDER, Colorado (September 21, 2016) — Upslope Brewing Company and two local startups, Boom Algae and Living Ink Technologies, begin a collaborative project to turn brewery waste into a 100% biodegradable, non-petroleum-based, algae-ink. The system is a unique bioreactor designed to function as a zero-waste system.

"Living Ink is thrilled to collaborate with Upslope and Boom Algae to grow algae ink by using waste water and carbon dioxide generated from brewing Upslope beer,” says Scott Fullbright of Living Ink. “This cutting edge project will allow us to create printed material for Upslope using the world's most sustainable ink.”

Boom Algae will utilize Upslope’s waste carbon dioxide (CO2), spent grain, and canning rinse water to grow and harvest Living Ink Technologies’ algae strain at the brewery. Living Ink Technologies will then transform it into the world’s most sustainable ink. The closed loop system will provide an eco-friendly algae ink to print Upslope’s menus and other promotional materials.

“At first, we designed a greenhouse for the rooftop of Upslope Brewing, but when we discovered we needed to change restrictions and codes set by the city, the process became more complicated, time consuming and costly than we had anticipated. It became clear that we needed an alternate plan to take advantage of our opportunity to demonstrate that we can turn brewery waste into valuable algae-based products,” says Boom Algae founder, Philip Calabrese. “Despite all the hurdles and setbacks, I have never been more excited about this project. We are finally doing what we set out to do.”

"Since we first spoke, Boom Algae has continued to push through technical and logistical challenges and has emerged with the reality of a fully functioning reactor, developed and iterated entirely from conceptual models,” says Upslope’s founder, Matt Cutter. “For years to come, we look forward to diverting byproducts of our fermentation process to help the Boom Algae folks produce a sustainable raw material for Living Ink!"


Photography: Jesse R. Borell, NOCOAST

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