Sustainable Suds – Brewing Goes Green

I’ve been a little curious lately about the “green” side of brewing in Cincinnati after my recent visit to Asheville, and taking a peek behind the sustainability programs that some of the “big guys” down there have in place. Seemingly by some sort of beer-god fate, a good friend of mine dropped this nugget of a competition in my inbox – and I knew I had to pass it on to you.

Sustainable Suds

This is a competition of sorts between a few of our local breweries – and while there are definitely some prizes to be won – I like to think it’s part of a much bigger piece of the puzzle when it comes to this city becoming an even better “beer city”.

The competition is brought to life via the Southwest Ohio Chapter of the US Green Building Council. They’re pushing to brewing a lot more awareness to what it means to have a sustainable brewing process in the hopes that the industry as a whole can take major steps forward into being a little “greener”.

The contest is a fairly simple one – it runs from Earth Day (that’s April 22nd) until Memorial Day (May 27th) or while supplies last. During this time a few of our local breweries (Alexandria, Fibonacci, Highgrain, Queen City and Swine City) are tasked with creating a batch of beer (the size is up to the individual breweries) in which the brewery improves upon the sustainablitity of their brewing process in some way.

If all of this sustainability stuff is as new to you as it is to me – you’re in luck… the Brewer’s Association has a really great resource out there that shines a little light on what things breweries can do in this realm. In addition, each of the participating breweries are going to write up a brief summary of how they improved their process form the “norm” – and if they view the change as something that they can reasonably do moving forward.

From that point – you’ve got the contest side of things. There are 3 prizes for the breweries participating:

  • Most Sustainable Brew
  • Top Fundraiser
  • Fan Favorite (this is based on voting, and where you come in!)

The Fundraising

This is a fundraising opportunity, too. The funds that are raised will benefit two USGBC charity organizations, Advance and Green Apple Day of Service.

The Advance program connects sustainable design leaders with non-profit organizations to provide sustainable design strategies that help lower building costs.

The Green Apple Day of Serice works with students to unite communities and prepares the next generation of global leaders in sustainablitly.

The actual amount from each beer that will be donated is going to be determined from brewery to brewery, and because of that – I don’t have details on it yet (But you can count on somet amount of the proceeds headed towards doing some direct good to these programs)

The Bigger Picture

I’ve been a little obsessed lately with what makes cities become “great” beer cities. And I think sustainability programs are a massive part of it. Here’s to hoping that some things like this can shine a bright light on how Cincy beer can step up and do things a little differently, and a little better than we already are!

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