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?

Prof Pilsner


Ken said...

re: 'Cascade Green beer, a brew proudly boasting a 100% carbon neutral footprint.'

laudable, commendable, AND, unfortunately, UNTRUE... if you put it on a truck, drive it to a port, load it on a ship, steam it 6-9-12 thousand miles, put it on ANOTHER truck drive etc...

that carbon footprint is now Yeti - Sasquatch [BIG Foot] HUGE.

so... locate a stateside brewery here in the Adirondacks of NY [2h to Port of Montreal) and brew to recipe here using our constitutionally protected pilzen,CZ-soft, forever wild water!

then, it's green HERE too!

Beer Blokes said...

I did forget to mention that Cascade has bought carbon Offset Credits in order to claim the Green tag.

More importantly, I can't believe that my little posts all the way down here are being read and responded to within minutes of it hitting the Wide Wide World of Webs!! Forget Carbon Neutral, this technology thingy is amazing!

Thanks for your comments. I'm on your beerhere site right now!

Prof Pilsner

P.S. I'm going to the fridge for a Czech Pilsner after being inspired by your water!

Ken said...

Hey Prof Pils

Yeah, right now, brewing [rightfully so given world-wide water scarcities, climate change, and gnd & surface water pollution] is all about conservation, sustainability, AND reducing that 'carbon footprint' but, ya gotta luv the SiO2-based (silicon dioxide > eg 'sand') electronic tools/platforms/networks that allow this kind of [virtually] RT interaction on the important [and not so] issues of the day.

Always a pleasure to make the acquaintance of kindred spirits WHEREVER they are.

do keep your eyes and ears 'peeled' for any down under interest/chatter about reducing that shipping carbon footprint by second sourcing in the US.

$1000 US 'reward'(you or a fav charity) for any referral that sites a brewery here in Ticonderoga, NY's Adirondack Mountain Pharaoh Lake Wilderness to partake of our 'Blue Gold' for craft beer alchemy.

Note about our watershed & Gooseneck Pond as compared to Cascade's protected 250 Hectares, is surrounded by 45,833 acres [18,548 hectares } or ~ 185 sq km forever wild wilderness!

Constitutionally protected and forever wild mind you so I'm sure the H2O compares favorably with the finest Tasmania has to offer.

door's open... please do keep your eyes/ears open too, Prof.

Ken G2G @ Watershed Enterprises for