This Louisiana craft beer pioneer ‘went green’ long before it was cool

June 21, 2017 by  
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Abita Brewing Company has been a tastemaker since 1986, both in terms of craft beer – you’ve probably sipped their Purple Haze – and in sustainability . Before Heinekin opened a carbon neutral brewery or Sierra Nevada installed a Tesla Powerpack system , Abita invested in clean tech because they felt it was the right thing to do. Inhabitat visited brewery headquarters in Abita Springs, Louisiana and spoke with President David Blossman and Director of Brewing Operations Jaime Jurado about the decision to go green well before other breweries in the United States. Abita was the first brewery in North America to put in an energy-efficient Merlin Brewhouse – or the vessels in which beer is brewed – back in 2001. Craft beer wasn’t as big back then – Blossman said business was “sideways at best” but Abita took a chance and installed the expensive brewhouse because they figured craft beer would eventually take off. Related: San Diego brewery unveils beer made from 100% recycled wastewater Jurado said, “Dave made decisions on renewable tech long before anyone else did.” One such decision was the installation of a rooftop solar array atop their bottling facility. Every year the solar panels generate around 116,180 kilowatt-hours (kWh), avoiding around 81.3 tons of carbon dioxide. 25 percent of the bottling plant’s roof is covered in the photovoltaics, which provide around five to seven percent of all the electricity Abita consumes. A wastewater treatment plant behind the brewery provides more power. The plant treats all the brewery wastewater, and bacteria anaerobically produce biogas , which comprises 17 percent of the natural gas the brewery uses. Although the Merlin brewhouse was forward-thinking when Abita first installed it, they recently put in the Krones EquiTherm brewhouse, which is even more energy- and water-efficient. It was the first one installed in the United States, and also allows for more flexibility in the types of beer Abita can brew. Heat from the brewhouse is recovered and reused; Jurado said, “We use a lot of heat but we recover a majority of the heat so we net out saving energy .” Breweries also use carbon dioxide (CO2) in their process, and it has to be heated to stay in a gas state. Meanwhile, warm water used in the packaging process needs to be cooled, so Abita came up with a system to accomplish both tasks and reduce electricity costs by around $6,000 a year. With the energy recovery system, they can use CO2 in a non-contact way to turn it into gas and cool the water. Even beyond the brewing process, Abita considers the environment . Jurado said, “Our bottle is not the industry standard bottle, which is called the long neck. You see them in Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser, Shiner products. Dave uses the heritage bottle which uses 11 percent less glass and 11 percent less energy.” The squatter bottle isn’t as noticeable on the shelf, but as Jurado said, “11 percent spoke a language.” The recyclable bottle requires less paper for labels and is still the standard 12 ounces. Plus more cases of beer inside heritage bottles fit on trucks. But the most sustainable packaging is stainless steel kegs, according to Jurado, which can be refilled over and over. Larger breweries only have around nine percent of sales in kegs, but they comprise 30 percent of Abita’s sales. Blossman told Inhabitat, “If you’re going to do something, you want to use less natural resources whether that be in natural gas or grain or water – they’re all important.” As many breweries do, Abita gives their spent grain – or the grain leftover after the brewing process – to farmers for feed. But the brewery is located close to dairy farmers so their spent grain doesn’t even have to travel that far. Abita Brewing Company fits right in to the town of Abita Springs, Louisiana, which recently became the first in the state and 24th American city to commit to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. In St. Tammany Parish, where Abita is located, there are currently only three electric vehicle charging stations, but Abita Springs will soon have the fourth, sponsored by the brewery. The brewery has also given back in the form of charity beers, such as the Save Our Shore pilsner they brewed following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion. They raised over $600,000 that went towards restoring coastal wetland habitats and helping struggling fishermen and their families. If you want to find out more about green brewing at Abita, check out their website . + Abita Brewing Company Images courtesy Abita Brewing Company and via Lacy Cooke for Inhabitat

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This Louisiana craft beer pioneer ‘went green’ long before it was cool

World’s first silo brewery opens in abandoned NY grain elevator

May 30, 2017 by  
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Abandoned grain silos in Buffalo , New York have been given new life as a brewery. Buffalo RiverWorks recently opened the $2.2 million brewery as part of the revitalization of the city’s waterfront . Buffalo’s grain elevators have long been emblematic of the area but now could stand for a new era of innovation — both in brewing and architectural restoration. Once part of the Wheeler-GLF grain elevator, the old silos now house the Buffalo RiverWorks brewery. RiverWorks employees transformed the silos into a brewery with the help of local architecture firm Abstract Architecture and engineering firm Kromac Design . They had to cut through rebar-reinforced concrete to create the space they needed, and also added a second floor inside. According to The Buffalo News, they had to carry out the work without plumbing or utilities. Related: Buffalo’s Grain Elevators to Be Used in Large-Scale Narrative Lighting Display General manager William Casale of the Pearl Street Family of Companies, which is behind the brewery, told The Buffalo News, “We were able to salvage these silos to create what we think is the first brewery built inside a silo in the world.” Other efforts to revitalize the waterfront are also underway. Rock climbing walls were installed inside some silos, with an Escape Room and zip line slated to open this summer as well. An observation deck will adorn the top of one silo. Casale said they’re also thinking about setting up a silo distillery. Buffalo RiverWorks already hosts concerts, sports games, and other entertainment at their waterfront complex. Preservation Buffalo Niagara executive director Jessie Fisher praised the new brewery, telling The Buffalo News, “The grain elevators more than anything else in Buffalo are our defining image on the world architectural stage. We have the largest extant collection of them in the world. The brewery is perfect, because it’s that marriage of grain and the Great Lakes beer comeback happening in New York State with the push to have more local beer production.” Via The Buffalo News Images via Buffalo RiverWorks Facebook and Abstract Architecture

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World’s first silo brewery opens in abandoned NY grain elevator

Bangladesh raises storm danger to highest level as Cyclone Mora batters coastline

May 30, 2017 by  
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Bangladesh was still picking up the pieces after flash floods in April affected millions of people when a cyclone hit. Cyclone Mora just struck the country’s southeastern coast with rain and winds hours ago, and the BBC reports five people have died. Hundreds of homes have been devastated. As Cyclone Mora approached yesterday, the country increased its storm danger signal up to 10, the highest level, with warnings some coastal areas were “likely to inundated by a storm surge of four to five feet” higher than normal. The country’s Disaster Ministry told authorities to evacuate people along the coast. Hours ago the cyclone finally struck and is already damaging a country that grapples with cyclones every year. Related: Aussie surfer designs prefab recycled cyclone-resistant homes Bangladesh is home to around 160 million people, and around 10 million reside in coastal areas. The BBC and Reuters report that one of the areas that’s already been hit the hardest in Bangladesh is Cox’s Bazaar, where hundreds of thousands of refugees reside. Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar came to Bangladesh fleeing violence, but now many of their temporary homes have been destroyed. Community leader Shamsul Alam told Reuters in the Balukhali and Kutupalong camps nearly all the 10,000 thatched huts were flattened. Cyclone Mora started to form after recent monsoon rains which led to landslides and flooding in nearby Sri Lanka . According to authorities around 180 perished as a result. In Sri Lanka, around 75,000 people have had to leave their homes. Reuters described the Sri Lankan floods as the most widespread disaster the country has seen since the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004. Bangladeshi weather officials still said the cyclone wasn’t as bad as they anticipated. It’s supposed to weaken and become a tropical storm as it moves towards India, where officials have already warned of heavy rains in five northern states. Via the BBC and Reuters ( 1 , 2 ) Images via SSEC/CIMSS, University of Wisconsin – Madison and screenshot

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Bangladesh raises storm danger to highest level as Cyclone Mora batters coastline

Heineken opens the world’s first large-scale carbon neutral brewery in Austria

June 7, 2016 by  
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Heineken ‘s brewing facility, which originally opened in 2003, is now powered completely by electricity from renewable and reusable sources , but the beer company didn’t stick to just one or two energy generation methods. The brewery draws power from solar, and hydropower, as well as biogas and waste heat from a neighboring saw mill. Key ingredients for the beer will be sourced locally whenever possible, reducing transportation energy in the supply chain in an effort to further shrink the company’s carbon footprint. Related: America’s favorite sustainable beers of 2012 In addition to its clean energy, the high-tech brewery has a few other fancy environmental tricks going for it. The facility also has systems in place to reduce waste energy and boost energy efficiency . Altogether, its operations will be able to reduce carbon emissions from approximately 3,000 tonnes a year to zero. “Through a combination of innovative technology, creative thinking and partnerships with our local community, we have turned a heritage brewery into the world’s first major zero carbon brewery,” said Andreas Werner, Brew Master at the Göss brewery. “Our Göss brewery may be in a small town but our goal was to make a big impact. I am proud of what we have achieved for the Heineken Company and want to help our other breweries, and the wider brewing industry, make renewable energy part of their energy mix, just as we have done.” The new zero carbon brewery is part of the company’s larger environmental goal. Heineken is aiming for a 40-percent reduction in global carbon emissions from production by 2020. The brewery has already won an EU Sustainable Energy Award in the Business category, and is also up for a ‘people’s choice’ award to be announced on June 14. + Heineken Images via Heineken

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Heineken opens the world’s first large-scale carbon neutral brewery in Austria

Abandoned Pearl Brewery Adapted into a Vibrant Mixed-Use Project in San Antonio

May 3, 2013 by  
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Read the rest of Abandoned Pearl Brewery Adapted into a Vibrant Mixed-Use Project in San Antonio Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , adaptive reuse , brewery , brewery renovation , eco design , full goods warehouse , green architecture , Green Building , green design , green renovation , lake flato architects , lakeflato architects , lake|flato , mixed-use development , pearl brewery , pearl brewery redevelopment project , San Antonio , san antonio river , Sustainable Building , sustainable design        

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Abandoned Pearl Brewery Adapted into a Vibrant Mixed-Use Project in San Antonio

Boulevard Brewery Expands With a Light- and Hop-Filled Addition in Kansas City

October 31, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Boulevard Brewery Expands With a Light- and Hop-Filled Addition in Kansas City Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “sustainable architecture” , boulevard , boulevard brewery , boulevard brewery company , brewery , Daylighting , eco design , el dorado , el dorado inc , green architecture , Green Building , green expansion , green renovation , kansas city , metal mesh , Missouri , MO , shade screen , sun screen , sun shade , Sustainable Building , sustainable design

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Boulevard Brewery Expands With a Light- and Hop-Filled Addition in Kansas City

Grassroots Mountain Rider’s Alliance Plans to Create Carbon Neutral Ski Slopes across U.S.

October 31, 2012 by  
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Image courtesy of Mt Abram As winter fast approaches, the snow will beckon many of us to the mountains to play – but what if there was another reason to support your local ski resort? This month the Mountain Rider’s Alliance (MRA) announced a new partnership with sustainable engineering firm Brendle Group which will transform Colorado’s ski mountains into carbon-neutral, net-zero resorts. Read the rest of Grassroots Mountain Rider’s Alliance Plans to Create Carbon Neutral Ski Slopes across U.S. Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Brendle Group , colorado , Golden Eagle Ski Industry Award , Maine , Mountain Rider’s Alliance , Mt Abrams , net zero , partnership , Ski , Sustainable

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Grassroots Mountain Rider’s Alliance Plans to Create Carbon Neutral Ski Slopes across U.S.

Klyde Warren Park Adds Much-Needed Green Space Atop the I-35 Freeway in Downtown Dallas

October 31, 2012 by  
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Read the rest of Klyde Warren Park Adds Much-Needed Green Space Atop the I-35 Freeway in Downtown Dallas Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Dallas , Dallas Arts District , Dallas Fort Worth , Dallas park , DFW , downtown Dallas , green roof , Jim Burnett , Klyde Warren , Klyde Warren Park , landscape architect , Landscape Architecture , landscape design , leed silver , native plants , Office of James Burnett , pedestrian friendly , Uptown Dallas , urban parks , walkability , walkable Dallas

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Klyde Warren Park Adds Much-Needed Green Space Atop the I-35 Freeway in Downtown Dallas

Orange Zest Pancakes Spiked with Beer

November 4, 2011 by  
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There is only one thing that can make these orange and vanilla pancakes better: beer! I used Orange and Black from Moylen’s Brewery, which is equally enjoyable in a glass just by itself. And it is sustainable!

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Orange Zest Pancakes Spiked with Beer

Spotlight on Two of Canada’s Greenest Breweries

March 11, 2011 by  
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A lot of people were excited to read about Magic Hat fueling the brewing process with fuel produced by its own waste, and a reader wrote in to share another brewery that has green merits also worth highlighting: British Columbia-based Driftwood Brewery , which recently launched a beer “brewed entirely with barley grown and malted on the Saanich Peninsula by artisan maltster Mike Doehnel—who the 100-Mile Diet folks

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Spotlight on Two of Canada’s Greenest Breweries

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