Nothing ruins a beer buzz quite like the reality of climate change and the thought of our once beer-filled planet burning up in a gaseous fracked explosive mess.
But there’s good news—at least, good enough to make beer-drinking not seem so selfishly empty and depraved. 24 beer brewers across the U.S. are partnering up to cut greenhouse gas emissions (and still make delicious beer).
The breweries, including New Belgium Brewery, Guinness and Allagash Brewing Company, reports the Huffington Post, “have signed onto the Climate Declaration organized through the sustainable business group Ceres. The declaration pledges that each company will take its own action to reduce emissions from its business, and will also support political action at the national level.”
Jenn Vervier, director of strategy and sustainability at Ft. Collins, Colorado-based New Belgium Brewery, told the Huffington Post that action on climate change “makes a lot of sense” for the brewery, particularly because “it uses a lot of energy in heating, cooling and transportation, and uses a lot of water.” And while a hotter planet might seem like a strong reason to drink icy cold beer, it’s not exactly a party kind of vibe. Also, a hotter planet means a drier one and that means less water available to make delicious beer.
New Belgium is leading by example by installing 300 kilowatts of solar power at its brewery headquarters. It also captures methane generated by its operations, “which it then burns to generate 15 percent of its electricity,” the Huffington Post explains.
Vervier points out that the advocacy for national climate action also makes sense for brewers. “Even if we were to be ourselves climate neutral, it’s such a small drop in the bucket,” she said. “It’s going to take a cleaner grid to lower the emissions from manufacturing.”
Other breweries signing the declaration include: Aeronaut Brewing Company, The Alchemist, Aspen Brewing Company, Brewery Vivant, Bouy Beer Company, Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen, Deschutes Brewery, Fort George Brewery and Public House, Fremont Brewing Company, Georgetown Brewing Co., Guinness, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Ninkasi Brewing Company, Odell Brewing, Rockford Brewing Company, Smuttynose Brewing Company, Snake River Brewing Co., Standing Stone Brewing Co., and Wet Dog Café & Brewery.
And if we can’t entice people to get on the climate neutral train with the prospect of more beer, then maybe we all deserve to shrivel up and dehydrate. But the declaration actually demonstrates that taking action to reverse climate change doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice luxuries (necessities?) like beer. In fact, it might even make each greedy gulp taste a whole lot better knowing that our beloved brews are making the planet a cleaner and greener place.
No beer goggles required for that vision. Just a straight up commitment to do good for the planet—and, for the love of all that’s holy—good beer. If climate change can do us any big favors, perhaps it’ll weed out all that bullshit beer that’s a disgrace to our preciously limited water. Just imagine that: a cleaner planet and better beer…
Related on EcoSalon
Beer image via Shutterstock