December 19, 2013

Breweries using sustainable production techniquesSustainable, environmentally friendly, farm-to-table dining isn’t just about the food. Beer, wine and liquor play almost as important a role. That’s why the rise of eco-conscious breweries and wineries has become one of the most exciting examples of how people across the United States are becoming more aware of the benefits of eating and drinking sustainable products.

There may be no state in the country more closely associated with beer than Wisconsin. In keeping with that legacy, breweries across the state are turning to sustainable practices to make their products tastier, more environmentally friendly and more profitable. Other places are taking note of Wisconsin’s example, and that presents excellent opportunities for culinary program graduates who are looking for innovative ways to put their education to work.

Wisconsin brewery leads the way
At Central Waters Brewery in the village of Amherst, Wisc., Paul Graham and Anello Mollica, president and vice president of the company, have proven that using sustainable, locally sourced ingredients and green energy solutions can be a part of a thriving business.

Central Waters has been steadily growing since it was founded 15 years ago as an operation run by a couple of beer hobbyists who would brew, bottle and distribute their products themselves. Now it can turn out 10,000 barrels of craft beer a year, including its award-winning Bourbon Barrel Stout.

Graham and Mollica credit their reliance on sustainable agriculture and green energy products for bringing them financial success. Their brewery is the only one in the state to have earned Wisconsin’s “Green Master” designation, and that’s just one part of their long-term strategy.

“As stewards of the environment, it’s a brewer’s duty – it’s our responsibility! – to minimize the impact as much as possible,” Mollica told Wisconsin Public Radio News, “because the whole idea here is, this business outlives Paul and I.”

Other brewers using sustainable methods
Wisconsin is far from the only place where brewers are using sustainable methods, and some of those other locales might not be the first to come to mind when you think of beer. In Central Massachusetts, the craft beer industry has been taking off in recent years, with several brewpubs and restaurants opening recently that offer libations that have been made from local ingredients.

“Going to the brewery is a cool way to get out for the day or the afternoon and check out something different, see how something is made locally,” Ben Roesch, founder and master brewer of Wormtown Brewery, in Worcester, Mass., told Worcester Magazine.