The Iowa Green Brewery Certification (IGBC) is a program within the Iowa Waste Reduction Center at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa. The IGBC was launched 3 years ago when staff at the Iowa Waste Reduction Center were exploring options for industry-specific environmental assistance. Ultimately, the craft beer industry deemed to be a perfect fit because of its rapid growth and extreme energy-intensive processes. Now going into its third year, the Iowa Green Brewery Certification continues to provide free assistance to all breweries in the state of Iowa who are looking to increase their environmental stewardship.
Anybody that has visited their local craft brewery or follows a craft brewery on social media is most likely familiar with how involved these businesses are in their local community. A few of the topics that likely come to mind when someone hears the word “sustainability” may include recycling, environmental stewardship, and even climate change. Community involvement and outreach are two very important branches of sustainability of which are often overlooked.
When implementing sustainable practices into their operations, breweries tend to start by looking at how they can reduce resource use. It’s no secret that resources such as water and electricity are a crucial part of the brewing process. Without water or electricity, we wouldn’t have beer. Through evaluating data and trends, breweries are now zeroing in on how to produce high-quality beer, while using the least amount of resources necessary.
With more than 7,000 craft breweries across the United States today, it is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out in a crowd that is already so unique. Aslan Brewing Company in Bellingham, Washington has made some unique strides in their journey of producing craft beer.
Most people who sit down to drink a beer, tend to only think about the liquid inside their glass. Not often does the consumer think about waste byproducts of the brewing process in which created the beer they're drinking. The most prominent waste byproduct of beer is spent grain; this is the waste of malt and other adjuncts that are used when creating beer. After the initial boil of water and malted barley, the liquid, called wort, continues onto the next step of the brewing process while the rest of the “spent” grain gets left behind.
With nationally recognized beers such as Two Hearted Ale, Oberon Ale, and Kalamazoo Stout, Bell’s Brewery is an industry champion when it comes to brewing great beers. Aside from producing award-winning beer, the team at Bell’s has another passion: Sustainability. Bell's states on their website, “We view sustainability as the capacity for our business to thrive in future generations through the practices of environmental stewardship, economic robustness, and social integrity.”