Happy Earth Day! In honor of this day of celebration and reflection, we thought it was the perfect opportunity to share with everyone the many ways Six Mile Bridge Beer tries to preserve our environment and resources.
As a brewer that heavily focuses on quality, natural ingredients like honey, spices, and fresh fruit, we are rewarded for and reminded of the earth’s bounty on a daily basis. This mindfulness truly inspired us to make some extra efforts towards sustainability in our business practices. We have fully embraced the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” methodology for limiting our impact on our planet:
One of the most obvious ways we can help preserve the environment is reducing waste. We have worked so hard to create a business model that minimizes waste. There are the obvious ways such as practicing mindfulness in our consumption – building awareness into our planning stages so we have little waste as possible. We also purposefully source all our supplies with the intention that they will be recyclable or biodegradable or reusable. Through this system, we have managed to keep our combined Taproom and Brewery garbage output to an average of only 5 small bags a week! Given the hundreds of people, and hundreds of barrels of beer, that come through our space weekly, this is quite an accomplishment!
We also have dedicated ourselves to reducing energy consumption. All lights in our Taproom and Brewery are LED bulbs which use significantly less electricity than traditional incandescent bulbs. For added reductions, we put our Brewery lights on motion sensors! This means that we are only using lights when and where we need it.
For many of our other power needs, we are so proud to participate in Ameren’s Pure Power Program which allows us to purchase clean wind energy! In 2018, our support of this effort reduced our carbon footprint by 116,581 pounds of CO² and the clean energy generated was the equivalent of planting 1,557 trees! Seeing these stats every year makes us feel so good about being involved with this program. It takes energy to make delicious beer, but by using wind energy we can make great products while still being responsible stewards of our environment.
In addition to reusing/repurposing as many of our supplies as possible, we have also built some significant “reuse” practices into our everyday brewing process.
Brewing beer uses a lot of water! We wanted to do as much as we could to reduce water waste, which is why we set up a water recapturing system so that water gets used for multiple purposes. When we run wort through our heat exchanger, we run cold tap water through the other direction. This cools down the wort and warms up the tap water at the same time. Then, the warmed tap water is recaptured in the hot liquor tank to be used. Not only does this help us limit water waste, but we need less energy to heat the water up to brewing temperature.
One of our largest outputs of “byproducts” is our spent grains. Luckily, these leftovers make appetizing feed for many farm animals. There aren’t too many things cuter than alpacas, which makes it all that more delightful that instead of going into the trash, our grains pull double duty and nourish these animals. Alpacas of Troy is a family-run farm in Eastern Missouri that is home to lots of alpacas and an assortment of other animals. These adorable alpacas produce the softest wool, which Alpacas of Troy spins into yarn and other fiber products. You can find them at several area Farmer’s Markets, and when you touch those soft and beautiful pieces you’ll be enjoying something partially fueled by the same grains that made your favorite beer!
If there is a recyclable option for something we need, that is the route we take! Our packaging, office supplies, Taproom needs, and marketing materials are recyclable whenever possible. If forced to buy and use something that isn’t able to be recycled, we find a way to repurpose it instead. Recycling is an effort that we can all take on. We certainly hope that once you’ve enjoyed drinking our beer at home, our bold and colorful cans are livening up your recycling bins!
COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY
As our business grows, we will continue our commitment to sustainable practices and an environmental mindset. We hope you’ll join us this Earth Day, and every day, in protecting and preserving our planet. There are many decades of great beer in our future. Let’s make sure we still have a beautiful and healthy place to enjoy them!