International Beer Day: 9 Innovative and Sustainable Breweries

International Beer Day Innovative Sustainable Rubicon Global

International Beer Day Innovative Sustainable Rubicon Global

From baseball games to breweries, America’s pastime is evolving to keep up with the social culture of the 21st century. That, mixed with millennials’ spending power shifting from consuming goods to “experiencing good” has created a swing in targeting our spending towards more meaningful engagements.   

International Beer Day, on August 3rd,  is the perfect chance to do good while enjoying a cold brew. Check out some of the world’s coolest and most sustainable breweries to park your celebration at and raise a glass to each of the ways these breweries are making the world a better place to live. Cheers!

1. Goose Island Brewery; Chicago

America deserves some damn fine beer like this, too” thought founder John Hall on an expedition across Europe. Wanting to bring tasty beer to Chicago, he set out on a journey in 1988 starting a cultural craft revolution of brewing. This journey led to an acquisition by Anheuser-Busch in 2011. Passion lives in every brew and the team atGoose Island works hard to meet demand and scale with a very impressive facility bottling 500 cases and 50 kegs per hour.

Unique to Goose Island, they forged a new path in beer and created Green Line Pale Ale. The carbon footprint of a single pint of beer is calculated, and what they can’t eliminate in production, they’re offsetting by donating money to rainforest protection programs. They’re sourcing local ingredients, have done away with glass bottles, and are truly changing the game in sustainable sipping.

2. Arches Brewing; Georgia

At its core, beer is a science and people work hard to find the right formula through experimenting to serve the best brew on tap. For Arches Brewing, this deems true. Once a biochemist now brewmaster, their recipes have evolved from their first batch in 2005 to over 40 distinct formulas.

At Arches Brewing, old is new again. Brewing old school “…makes for cleaner, more complex and balanced, the delicious end result.” A local brewery around the corner from Rubicon’s headquarters in Atlanta, Arches Brewing is strong in its history as well. Arches Brewing was named after the four brick arches of one of the founder’s 1920 Colonial-style home. Meticulous for detail, they became obsessed with finding the purest water as they realize the foundation of beer is the best water one can source. To accomplish this, they took matters into their own hands by installing a well system that delivers cold, clean and natural spring water.

3. Saltwater Brewery; Florida

With a passion for the ocean and keeping it clean of waste or toxins, Saltwater Brewery, located in Delray Beach, is living the salt life in a sustainable way. With a goal of maintaining the world’s greatest wonder, our ocean, Saltwater Brewery has become an advocate for those that cannot advocate for themselves, our beautiful sea creatures. Through education and fundraising efforts, they are working hand-in-hand with local organizations and nonprofits to keep the ocean clean.

Saltwater Brewery has developed an Eco Six Pack Ring, the first fully compostable 6-pack can holder. In hopes of replacing traditional plastic rings, this product contributes to the elimination of plastic ending up in any body of water. Saltwater Brewery is situated perfectly in a city that continues this larger mission. Delray Beach is embracing sustainability encouraging the local community to join together and reduce, reuse and recycle.

4. Full Sail Brewery; Oregon

Full Sail Brewery’s sustainability efforts are inspired by the beauty that surrounds them. Located in Hood River, Oregon, Full Sail is living their purpose through an unconditional love for the environment. As part of a larger mission, this brewery serves great beer while serving the community. Using water from a spring in Mt. Hood mixed with the endless acres of nature outside their window, sustainability is at the forefront of the product they brew.

Reducing water consumption by 3.1 million gallons annually is how Full Sail Brewery keeps efficient and responsible processes at the forefront of their approach. Using the best ingredients in their beer: water, yeast, fresh hops and barley, Full Sail is supporting local farmers every day. And, it doesn’t stop there. Distributing an award-winning product isn’t enough, Full Sail goes the extra mile with care using locally-sourced recycled glass for their bottles. All in all, Full Sail is part of the solution to save our earth and one thing is guaranteed, the team is having fun doing it.

5. Hardywood Park Craft Brewery; Virginia

Friendship and fate are the foundation of Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, located in Richmond, Virginia. Two childhood friends, one is a Certified Cicerone and the other comes from three generations of master brewers, combined their experience and passion for craft beer into what became Hardywood Park Craft Brewery in October of 2011. With a mission to brew with purpose, Hardywood became the first Virginia-based brewery powered entirely by renewable energy. With initiatives like this, as well as donating over $100,000 to local non-profits since its induction, no wonder Hardywood was named 2015 Virginia Green Brewery of the Year, proudly awarded within the first 5 years establishment.

6. Hops & Grain Brewing; Texas

Austin is home to almost 950,000 people and some we know well including cyclist Lance Armstrong, actress Sandra Bullock, and NFL Quarterback, Drew Brees. It is also the home to many cool experiences including film, media and music festival, SXSW, the legacy that is Texas Football and Hops & Grain Brewing. As a small business, Hops & Grain Brewing has committed itself to be a steward of the community and the planet.

Sustainability is not just something they strive to incorporate into their business, it is ingrained in their culture. Focusing efforts in three categories: environment, community & setting the industry example, they are doing good through sustainable system implementation as a top priority. Environmentally, Hops & Grain Brewing donates 1% of their annual revenue to nonprofit partners. They are serving man and man’s best friend, reusing spent brewing grains to produce dog treats.

7. Mountain Goat Brewery; Australia  

Some of the world’s most innovative companies were started in homes whether in a garage, living room or even backyard. Mountain Goat Brewery is just that. A student studying overseas was not satisfied with the current selection of beer so he took matters into his own hands, in his own backyard brewing beer. Dave, partnering with Cam, who while traveling aboard realized there was not a selection of good craft beer, decided to go into business together and Mountain Goat Brewery was created.

Intentionally choosing cans, rewarding employees who commute in a more sustainable way, trading in corporate cars for brewery bikes and an office made of repurposed material are a few of the many ways Mountain Goat continues to stay mission-driven. Another way they stay focused on doing good is how they dispose of wastewater. Instead of routing it directly into the sewer system, they use a three vessel trade waste system to ensure it is in the purest form possible. The water is pushed through the first vessel to catch large solids, a second vessel to catch smaller solids and the third tank is where the water’s pH and temperature levels are neutralized. Crack open a Mountain Brew knowing our mates down under are brewing natural, vegan-friendly and good for the world beers.

8. Purity Brewing Company; England

Named 2015 Sustainability Manufacturer of the Year, Purity Brewing Co. needs no introduction. Aged with love, Purity Brewing beats to the rhythm of sustainability.

Located across the pond almost two hours outside of London, Purity brews craft beer with a conscience, and as they say, they are not just environmentally friendly, they are environmentally enriching. What does this mean? They use the latest technology in heat & steam exchange reducing energy consumption and reuse its spent grain and hops for cattle, pigs, and fertilizer, respectively. Purity stores and serves their beer under hygienic food standard conditions as well as washes spills immediately and the beer cellar weekly. They are also transparent about their daily routine, listing how they preserve and maintain the finest of facilities and products with a double digit checklist on their website. There is one thing we are sure about, Purity is setting the bar high for eco-friendly breweries across the world.

9. New Belgium Brewing Company; Colorado & North Carolina

A brewery dedicated to changing the world through business since its inception in 1991, now that is cool. Certified as a B Corp in 2013, New Belgium’s stakeholders became their greatest asset, recently shifting to a 100% employee-owned company. Their environmental stewardship doesn’t stop there. Along with producing world-class and some of the most well-known beer including Fat Tire and the Belgium Collection, New Belgium models their business on a structure of social, environmental and cultural change. Social through grant programs, volunteering, policy advocacy and in-kind donations. Environmental through a strong emphasis on a philosophy that addresses energy conservation, demand management, on-site power generation and internal energy tax. And cultural, specifically the culture they are creating from the inside out. New Belgium doesn’t just consider themselves a business, they consider themselves a movement and they are working with many others towards the goal of redefining success in business.


Editors Note: Rubicon is not affiliated with the companies referenced in the blog post, and any references to companies in the post are not meant to convey an endorsement of Rubicon by those companies in any way.