Converting Sips of Beer into Sustainable Brewing Beau’s Brewery launched the Greener Futures Project on July 1, 2011, with the goal of raising money to invest into sustainability projects at the brewery. The funds for these projects are generated by memberships in the Greener Futures Barrel-Aged Beer Club. Members are entitled to 10 barrel-aged Beau’s beers a year, and membership is the only way to get access to these exclusive and rare beers. Phase 1 of the Greener Futures Project focused on solar energy, with the dollars raised invested in OREC (Ottawa Renewable Energy Cooperative) to support their ongoing efforts building solar projects in the City of Ottawa. Funds generated in Phase 1 also paid for a three-year contract with Bullfrog power, with Beau’s choosing green electricity for 100% of its Vankleek Hill brewery operations, as well as becoming the first brewery in Canada to chose 100% green natural gas. Phase 2 of the Greener Futures Project kicked off in November 2014, and generated a total of $27,760 for investment into waste reduction and water stewardship projects at the brewery. This year saw the creation of an onsite brewery composting program, making sure that the organic botanicals we put into our beer get a second life as valuable compost – as well as employee food scraps and other compostable materials generated onsite. While we are lucky in our region of Canada to have water in abundant supply today, Beau’s is looking to show leadership in the craft brewing community, with responsible consumption and wastewater management practices. Beer is about 95% water, but the amount of water used to produce a container of beer is far greater than what is in the package – in fact, the industry average is a ratio of 7:1 for water used versus beer produced. Additionally, most breweries discharge 70% of their incoming water as effluent (wastewater that flows into the sewer system). With these facts in mind, Beau’s water stewardship program identified three main goals: reducing water usage, reducing overall effluent load, and identifying onsite wastewater treatment opportunities. Beau’s was able to tackle some low-hanging fruit right away, by creating a solution for diverting yeast waste from municipal sewers. The expired brewer’s yeast is now collected and delivered to a nearby facility for conversion into bio-fuel. This practice is expected to divert nearly half a million litres of yeast per year, and has the added benefit of generating new energy. At the same time, Beau’s looked to develop a long-term plan for water stewardship, so enlisted the help of our friends at the University of Guelph (Alfred Campus) and La CitéCollege of Applied Arts and Technology. Working with these partners, Beau’s has implemented a multi-phased plan that has begun with water consumption and wastewater data collection and analysis. Greener Futures Phase 3 will see plan turn to action, with the design of an innovative onsite water treatment solution for the brewery. Phase 3 of the Greener Futures Barrel Aged Beer Club, which will fund this initiative, will launch November 27, 2015. Memberships are limited (and sold out last year), so get yours today!