Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Is Green, Is Good!
The world of beer is a wonderous place and, while it may seem to have remained unchanged in Australia for many years the reality is very different.
It was not so long ago that brewers used around four litres of water to brew one litre of beer. In this day of more critical observation of the way we live that would certainly raise eyebrows – and now many brewers are changing the way they source, use and recycle the resources necessary to brew our golden nectar.
A visit to Mountain Goat brewery is not just highly recommended from a beer-drinking perspective but, if you want to feel that the future of our planet really is in good hands, take the time to look around the brewery as you sip your pint. Note the water tanks harvesting and filtering the good stuff straight off the roof or the company supplied bicycles available to staff for running errands like banking or lunch runs.
A glance skyward before you go in will reveal a solar heating system on the roof ensuring that nature warms the mash water so that less reliance is put upon the more expensive and energy-greedy mains system. A range of other staff incentives and generous community involvement further establishes the Goat’s pre-eminence in the field of ‘looking after the planet’.
As to the beer itself, it was Cascade who, in 2008, released its Cascade Green beer, a brew proudly boasting a 100% carbon neutral footprint. For those who knew that beer had a ‘profile’ or ‘character’ and perhaps even some ‘provenance’ but didn’t realise it had a ‘footprint, here’s the word. Cascade has worked on minimising greenhouse gas emissions and wastage in the brewing process for over a decade and has recently adopted even more efficiencies in waste water recycling, malting water use and waste management to achieve a 30% reduction in water usage per unit of production.
They have now gone a step further with a new innovation – a solar powered pub light installed four months ago at The Fox Hotel in the inner Melbourne suburb of Collingwood. Made from recycled plastic, aluminium and a fancy-arsed plastic called PETG it ticks all the boxes for standards required for the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.
An LED bulb set up illuminates the light box and the maker reckons it will give about 50,000 hours of service. No wiring means a publican can stick it anywhere without the expense of a sparky and the globes should last around 10 times longer than a fluro tube set up. It’s a little gimmicky and only a small thing, but even ‘the longest journey begins with the smallest step’. Geez, this saving-the-world thing is causing me to channel medieval Chinese philosophers!!
I know I may have been just a little sceptical of the Global Warming Alarmists and the trendy cause-fighters looking for political mileage, but at least this one is genuinely beer-related and seemingly immune from corruption and incompetence.
Maybe if Peter Garrett had jumped on this Cascade bandwagon instead of trying to stuff pink batts into everyone’s ceilings, he’d still have his old job? And Kev could’ve saved a shitload of Carbon Credits by staying at home, drinking Cascade Green or Mountain Goat Hightail Ale at The Fox Hotel and then sold the Solar Pub Light to those other peanuts in Copenhagen?