For many large companies, sustainability can be a buzz term, a simple marketing ploy for sympathy and sales. For Sierra Nevada, the widely-distributed craft beer out of Chico, California, sustainability actually appears to mean something. We stopped in Sierra's headquarters to see what environmental brewing looks like. Many of the raw ingredients (hops and barley) are sourced locally or via ultra-efficient shipping routes. Recycled paper is used for packaging. And the roof of the facility is covered with more than 10,500 solar panels—one of the largest privately-owned solar installations in America.
As if Bruges needed another way to seem like a magical fairyland, it's about to get a beer pipeline.
The city council just green-lit Brouwerij De Halve Maan's plans to ferry suds through an underground tube from its center-city brewery to its bottling plant on the outskirts of town.
CEO Xavier Vanneste told Belgium's Het Nieuwsbladsaid (link in Dutch) that the beer's three kilometer (1.86 mile) trip will take 10 to 15 minutes through polyethylene tubes, at a rate of 6,000 liters of beer per hour. The pipeline is expected to take hundreds of delivery trucks off the roads, and its cost will be footed entirely by the brewery.
The American brewing industry reached another milestone at the end of June, with more than 3,000 breweries operating for all or part of the month (3,040 to be precise). Although precise numbers from the 19th century are difficult to confirm, this is likely the first time the United States has crossed the 3,000 brewery barrier since the 1870s.