When I was a kid growing up in Maine I used to go on frequent outdoor adventures with my dad. The many activities ranged from gardening, planting trees, hiking, canoeing, fishing, hunting, and skiing; it didn’t seem to matter what time of year it was or what the thermometer said, I was almost always outside.
The experiences in the outdoors as a child led to a deep passion for nature, which I’m thankful to say, has carried on into my adult life. I am proud to be an advocate for the natural world, and even prouder to advocate for people and businesses that also work to be stewards of nature.
Maine’s craft beer industry is a great example of the free market creating outstanding products while promoting greener practices. All across the state breweries are conscious of their carbon footprint and environmental impact and have found many fun and creative ways to create outstanding beer while helping the earth.
Allagash Brewing Company in Portland, for example, engages in sustainable and socially responsible brewing practices. They have solar panels that since their installation in 2016 have helped to offset over twenty-one thousand pounds of CO2. Allagash has also kept 99.75% of all their waste since 2015 from ending up in landfills through recycling and composting, and donating spent grain from the brewing process to local farmers who can either use the grain to feed livestock, or spread on their fields for fertilizer.
Maine Beer Company in Freeport engages in similar practices with their solar panels counting towards 50% of their electric uses, and the other 50% being offset by purchasing wind credits, in effect making them a 100% renewable energy based brewery (it is yet to be seen how their current expansion will effect the energy uses). Flight Deck Brewing in Brunswick is another Maine brewery that creates it’s delicious beer through 100% renewable sources from a combination of solar power, and anaerobic biodigestion (a fancy term that means organic waste gets turned into electricity).
Numerous other Maine breweries also employ environmentally friendly, and sustainable practices—including Orono Brewing Company which just this past week released their Bog Monster DIPA with portions of the profits going towards the Orono Bog Walk—on some level to help ensure Maine maintains a healthy and diverse environment for us all to enjoy for generations to come. So remember next time when you go to the bar or store to buy beer, it takes drastically less energy to create and enjoy a beer brewed close to home than it does to ship one in from somewhere else in the country, or world. We can all help to reduce our carbon footprint and impact on the environment by embracing local brewers here at home all while enjoying their beers at the same time. With so many incredible options from Maine brewers today, why would anybody want to get them from anywhere else?
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For anyone interested in learning more about environmentally responsible breweries in Maine check out the list of breweries that stand for clean water on the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Brewer’s for Clean Water page here.