I have read many books over the years, but one that I have kept and give a flick through every year when winter knocks on the door is the 2009 edition of Green Guide (David Suzuki & David R Boyd).
Since starting our business, we have been looking at designing a small brewery, doing logistics planning and all those things you never think of when you are having a dark, smoky, Dunkel, freshly tapped from your home made keg system in the shed... I started paging through some notes I have made in the above mentioned book.
"..a 50% decline in honey bee colonies...",
"Australian ecological footprint is 6.6ha per person, while the global average is 2.2ha per person.."
"..humanities footprint exceeds the earth's capacity by 25%.."
"end of fossil fuels"
"zero energy buildings'
Although not everyone has the resources, time or maybe even the inclination to do their part in ensuring we try and keep the earth as healthy as possible, we have decided to give it a red hot go.
At the moment we are thinking of 11 things we want to do at Himmel Hund's Brewery:
1. only sourcing ingredients that are less than 100km from the brewery from primary producers (grain, wheat, hops, spices, oranges, water)
2. Leasing an already built building with insulation
3. Roof panels that are transparent to allow natural light into the brewery during the day
4. Rainwater capture from all adjacent buildings
5. Spent grain as feed/fertiliser or fire logs during winter
6. Serving beer straight from fermenters to taps and selling as much beer as possible in kegs instead of bottles. Every keg prevents the manufacture of around 152 glass bottles, their caps and labels, about 6 cartons and the printing of it
7. Not make any pasteurised or mechanically filtered beer to reduce energy consumption and unnecessary use of extra filtration materials
8. Make seasonal beers that depend on what ingredients we can find locally
9. Educate the community around us about our ideas and build a strong "drink at your local brewery" concept
10. Use solar panels to "charge up" our brewery as much as possible
11. Encourage people to cycle, walk or take public transport to our brewery and get some good local beer and reward sustainable effort with discounted beer.
If anyone has any other good ideas, please send them to me by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org or just leave a comment and we can chat.
I will blog some more about what good ideas and new technology is around to create traditional, sustainable breweries, that help our communities to enjoy clean water, unpolluted air, good grain, fresh hops and many days of good, cold beer.