Another craft beer blog….
Well, sort of. Yeah, why not? Beer is cool.
It’s pretty universally loved! It is both trendy and ancient, with a rich past and a bright future. It is ancient and modern, rural and cosmopolitan, white collar and blue. It’s complex —both in culture and in flavor. And yeah, people obsess over the fancy branding and how it’s made. For so many, beer is a passion and way of life.
But, it’s also incredibly wasteful. It consumes massive amounts of energy and resources. And we let it slide, because we love it.
But hopefully that is changing with the environmental threatens our world is facing. Because of the work of some of the most relevant names in the business, the beer industry is on its way to becoming one of the most exciting landscapes for sustainable practices.
Some of the big guys, New Belgium, for example, are implementing widespread sustainability practices, including producing energy on-site or encouraging employees to cycle to work by gifting them a bike on their one-year anniversary. And the little guys are doing their part as well. Tired Hands in Pennsylvania brewed a series of beers to highlight invasive plants and animal species threatening their local ecosystem.
These are just a few examples of sustainability’s current place in the beer world. There are many, many more breweries out there striving to make their business more environmentally friendly in ways that also serve to turn a profit.
For some context, I spent the last few years working on sustainable projects related to beer in my professional life. As an AmeriCorps member with The Nature Conservancy in Arizona, I started a partnership with Arizona Wilderness Brewing Co., a Phoenix-area based brewery famous for their beers made with local and wild-foraged ingredients. After my AmeriCorps term ended in 2015, I joined the Arizona Wilderness team to run their social media and communications efforts and to lead many sustainability initiatives at the company.
These days, I work on The Nature Conservancy in Arizona’s Water Projects team as the Administrative Coordinator, assisting in projects like Sinagua Malt (a sustainable agriculture projects that uses malted barley to save a river — more on this later) and OktoberForest (a promotional campaign that taps breweries across the nation to promote healthy forest initiatives) I also hold a Bachelor’s in Sustainability and a Master’s in Nonprofit Leadership & Management.
This blog will explore sustainable practices and overall themes within the brewing industry. It will highlight the breweries and the people leading the way in making the world of better place, one beer at a time.