Good Beer For The Planet

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. brews green beer to help fund conservation efforts
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Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. brews green beer to help fund conservation efforts

Like you need another reason to drink a good beer, but just in case, here's one more: Some beer is actually good for the environment.

The Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is invested in more than just crafting fine brews—they’re also out to protect the planet. The brewing company, dedicated to incorporating environmental values into all facets of their beer production, took their environmental commitment a step further: They’re using their beer to generate funds for conservation.

In May, the brewery raised $73,342 for the Western Rivers Conservatory by donating a portion of the month’s proceeds from twelve-packs of their Pale Ale and Summerfest Lager to the Oregon-based nonprofit organization.

“Our beer is a product of our surroundings,” said Ken Grossman, Founder and President of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. and member of the board of directors for Western Rivers Conservancy. “ Sierra Nevada is not just the name of our brewery, but also a place with its own unique environment. We need to do our part in protecting that environment for generations to come.”

The now sixth largest brewery in the U.S. has spent its nearly 30 years in the beer business building more than just profits and reputation. The brew masters and beer business gurus have taken the time to weave conservation practices and clean energy technology into the brewing process.

The brewery is solar powered, recycles extensively (including byproduct recycling), uses heat and carbon dioxide recovery systems, conserves water, and is largely concerned with energy-efficient practices. And here’s the kicker: They make ethanol fuel out of their beer waste! I’d wager to say that even the scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory would find that cool (they’re doing something similar with corn stover, which isn’t nearly as fun as making fuel out of beer waste).

Getting my hands on a good beer that's also good for the environment? I’ll drink to that.

—Jessie Lucier



Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. to Launch Wild Rivers Campaign in Partnership with Western Rivers Conservancy