Companies across the world have started producing "green" beers, which are ecologically sound beers that are made using innovative ways that consume less power, conserve water, recycle materials, and utilize brewing byproducts.
According to a report in ENN (Environmental News Network), once reserved for St. Patrick's Day, green beer is now available year round in the form of more ecologically sound beers.
AdvertisementAlthough an industry-wide green revolution is still years away, companies are looking to the future for today's perfect brew.
Leading the field of eco-friendly brewing companies is the New Belgium Brewery.
In 1999, New Belgium became the first brewery in the nation to subscribe to wind-powered electricity.
It is also one of the first breweries to use the methane produced by water treatment processes to "fuel a combined heat and power engine-or co-gen-which creates electricity and heat for the brewery."
In addition, this brewery turns old keg caps into tabletops, uses sun tubes to light its warehouse, and turns byproducts like spent grains and hops into cattle feed.
Among the more unique eco-friendly ventures of this company is the Tour de Fat Festival, named after bicycles, weight loss, and New Belgium's most-loved brew: Fat Tire Amber Ale.
At each stop along the eleven-city tour, New Belgium corrals one volunteer who promises to live without a car for a year.
Thanks to a solar-powered sound system, decorations made from recycled materials, and beer served in compostable cups, the event's overall waste stream diversion rate has been around 85 percent, with a goal of 98 percent for 2008.
Although New Belgium Brewery is considered a leader in the world of green beer, many other companies are hoisting the flag of environmental sustainability.
Coors Brewing Company, one of the largest brewers in the world, has been going green for about 50 years.
Coors became one the first brewers to use commercially produced aluminum cans in 1959. The company also began offering customers a one-cent-per-can recycling incentive, which helped to launch the recycling revolution.
Also, since 1996, Coors has been recycling waste beer (beer lost during packaging or deemed below quality standards) and converting it to alcohol automotive fuel.
Another innovation in the world of green beer comes from one of the oldest brewers - Britain's oldest brewery, Shepherd Neame, who has started to craft its lagers and ales with "wort boiling" technology, which reduces energy usage by 10 percent.
According to the Popular Science website, if the 8,000 major breweries of the world adopted this wort boiling technology, the electricity equivalent of three million tons of coal per year could be saved.
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