American Beer Brought To You By Solar Energy

solar powered brewery

Solar energy can help drastically reduce the energy costs associated with making beer.

Americans love beer so much; over 50 billion pints are consumed annually.  And now there’s a whole new reason for breweries to win favor.  Many breweries are tapping into renewable energy sources, heating water with solar power, and installing solar arrays to help with overall electricity costs.

Central Waters Brewing Company

The first brewery in Wisconsin to use solar power to heat domestic water was Central Waters Brewing Company.  The owners, Paul Graham & Anello Mollica, acknowledge that the process of brewing beer is resource-intensive.  Profuse amounts of water and energy are consumed to produce beer, and using solar power is a great way to reduce the environmental impact.  For example, every day the brewing process at Central Waters uses approximately 1,500 gallons of water which are heated to 165°F.  The water at Central Waters is now pre-heated by the sun to about 140°F, and then it’s heated the rest of the way by a natural gas boiler.

A leading goal of Central Waters Brewing is beer production with sustainable energy sources, and the company is a leader in Wisconsin’s sustainability movement.

Central Waters has also installed a photovoltaic (PV) solar system consisting of about 100 solar panels, which have a combined capacity of 20 kilowatts.  The PV system is helping to reduce the amount of fossil fuels consumed to provide electricity for the brewery.

solar powered american beer

Notice the solar hot water panels placed all along the roof of this brewery to help out with the high water heating costs.

The Milwaukee Brewing Company

The Milwaukee Brewing Company is in the process of installing 28 solar panels which will be used for preheating water that’s used in the brewing process.  This step is part of the company’s commitment to making upgrades in energy efficiency.  It’s expected that the solar installation will reduce energy costs for the brewery by 27 percent.

Barrington Brewery & Restaurant

Barrington Brewery & Restaurant was the East coast’s first brewery to brew beer using a solar energy hot water system.  About 1,000 gallons of hot water are heated daily using the 30-panel solar system.

Flying Goose Brew Pub & Grille

Located in New London, New Hampshire, Flying Goose Brew Pub & Grille has construction underway for a 126-panel solar energy system, making it New Hampshire’s first solar-powered brewery.

The annual electric bill for the Flying Goose is about $24,000 and rising.  The solar system is expected to lower that cost by 25 percent, and it’s projected to take between five and eight years to see a Return on Investment (ROI), covering the cost of the solar installation.

Odell Brewing Company

Odell Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado, is making several steps toward environmental friendliness.  The brewery has added a 76.8 kilowatt solar array on the roof of a building expansion, and it’s expected that solar power will now provide about 39% of their energy needs. Odell’s also turns off the lights a good portion of the day because of a day lighting system in the warehouse which keeps the area illuminated by natural light whenever it’s daylight.  The company also limits distribution to nine states, as a way of cutting down on the use of fossil fuels.

These are just some of the breweries around the country that are switching to renewable energy.  This news will no doubt make the taste of beer even more satisfying for the energy conscious.

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