Thinking Green – how we help
We’ve always worked hard to be as green as possible in the brewery, but it struck me that we don’t always share this with you, so here are a few ways do our bit.
At our 20 BBL plant in Radcliffe, we generally brew 3-5 days a week which is a lot of beer, yet we only fill 1/3 to ½ of a domestic sized black bin which is emptied once a fortnight. Not bad eh?
From the very beginning of Brightside, and in our business before, we have worked hard to keep waste to a minimum and recycle or re-use wherever possible. This is what we do.
How we re-use materials/ waste:
- Two dairy farmers collect our spent grain and use it as cattle feed. One of them has been able to increase the size of his herd thanks to the free feed.
- Spent hops and yeast go to be composted at the farms.
- A local engineering company uses our cardboard hop boxes to send their finished work out to customers
- We save packaging material sent to us and re-use it wherever possible when send out samples for gluten testing etc.
- We send back empty cleaning fluid vessels to the company from which we buy them to be re-used.
- Wooden pallets are re-used and sent back through the system; we don’t buy new ones & take care of the old ones
- Trashed printer paper is re-used for notes in the office
- Our customers are encouraged to keep their core range plastic pump clips and re-use them rather than throw them.
- Surplus pump clips from obsolete beers are given away to collectors or to charity rather than being thrown in the bin.
How we recycle waste:
- We recycle plastic pallet wrap packaging and grain bags.
- Cardboard packaging (other than re-usable boxes) goes to be recycled or is used at the farm as animal bedding.
- Waste paper from the office is collected and recycled, and we’re careful only to print what we need.
- Ink cartridges from the printer are sent to be re-cycled.
- Bottles and cans are re-cycled
- Plastic shives and keystones are re-cycled
- Valuable waste which can still be used is given to charity
- Electronics or broken equipment that cannot be repaired is taken to a local recycling facility.
How we conserve energy:
- We’ve completed a move over to LED lighting which is more energy efficient than regular lighting options.
- We have movement sensitive automatic lights in the brewery which switch off when not in use.
- Our chilled areas are kept closed when not in use
- The vast majority of our beers are sold within a 30 mile radius from the brewery, and we keep our routes efficient. We don’t travel miles to deliver 1 cask, our routes are always carefully planned.
- Our plate heat exchanger heats the hot liquor tank thereby conserving energy and cutting electric use.
- Only essential electrics are left on overnight in the brewery, all other electrics are switched off at the end of the working day and when not in use during the day.
How we minimise beer container waste:
- Our cans are packed in recyclable cardboard boxes rather than film & trays. We hope to be able to do this for our bottles in future when our packers are able to invest in this equipment.
- Our cask and keg population is 100% stainless steel is continually cleaned, filled, used and returned to begin the cycle once again.
- We DO NOT USE one-way kegs!! This is something that we care a lot about. Using plastic vessels most of which are difficult to recycle – if indeed they can be recycled at all, to sell between 50 – 80 pints seems incredibly wasteful. To us it’s something we just won’t do; hence all of our casks and kegs are returnable and reusable. This also means a cost saving to our customers as one-way tubs are an expense that has to be added to the wholesale price of beer.
- Customers are encouraged to do the right thing and re-cycle our cans and bottles once they’ve enjoyed our beer.
- We are about to start trialling re-cyclable cardboard pump clips for our seasonal specials beers. This is a massive step for us in reducing our plastic generation as a business, and will be trialled from November 2019 with our customers.
All of this helps us to make as little impact on the environment as possible, and we’re always trying to find ways to get better.