Beer. It’s one thing that you can just about always count on being in our mini fridge. A personal favorite of mine is Sierra Nevada Pale Ale. Besides being down right tasty, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is an outstanding example of a model company. Backing up and giving a little history, I was born in Northern California 30 minutes from Chico, the home of Sierra Nevada. When I go back to visit my family I like to stop in at the brewery to eat at the restaurant and peruse the gift shop. I took a tour during one of my trips and was astounded by their commitment to the environment. Here are just a few things that make Sierra Nevada great:
– Starting at the top, literally, they use solar panels. That coupled with their fuel cell plant provides the majority of the brewery’s electrical energy needs.
– They also put a big effort into recycling. So much so that they take spent vegetable oil from the brewery and restaurant and use a biodiesel processor to produce fuel for long haul and local route trucks.
– Working with the community, they give their spent grain, hops and yeast to the local university, Chico State, to feed to their dairy and beef cows. Those same cows are eaten in the brewery’s restaurant.
– The extra CO2 produced during the natural fermentation from the beer is captured and used later in the bottling process as well as sent to a natural soda company in Chico.
– Water conservation is also taken into account. Sierra Nevada has their own water treatment plant where they treat all of their waste water produced from the brewing operations. The methane produced during this treatment is also captured and used to fuel their boilers.
This is just a quick overview of their hard work. If you want to find out more about Sierra Nevada go to www.sierranevada.com. It takes a lot of effort to be this green, the least we can do is support a company that does what it can, so drink a beer and make it Sierra Nevada.