BOB recently hit the road for an event he’d been working on with the North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild. The Sustainable Brewing & Packaging event was hosted at the Ardagh Group glass manufacturing facility in Wilson, N.C.

Craft breweries from across the state of North Carolina, government agency officials from North Carolina and representatives from other supply chain businesses gathered to discuss sustainability and recycling initiatives.

Josh Brewer, Brewmaster at Mother Earth Brewing, joined Larry Lane, Owner/Brewer of Double Barley Brewing, and Kate Binder, Sustainability Specialist from Bell’s Brewery, in a panel discussion about sustainability practices at their breweries.

From more efficient equipment and installations, to composting programs in taprooms, the breweries shared ideas with each other and the other brewers in the audience that can yield big savings to a brewery’s bottom line.

From left to right: Larry Lane from Double Barley Brewing, Josh Brewer from Mother Earth Brewing and Kate Binder from Bell’s Brewery.

“With a name like Mother Earth, you can’t just talk the talk, you have to walk the walk,” said Brewer. “We have a 6-kilowatt solar array that we use to offset our electricity consumption, and it generates enough power to offset 100% of our taproom electricity 24/7, as well as some other areas of our facility.”

Mike Green, Business Development Specialist for the State of North Carolina, Division of Environmental Assistance, spoke about brewery recycling programs and the need for regional consolidation partnerships. This way, breweries can consolidate their brewery materials, such as grain bags, hops bags, cardboard and stretch wrap, to save money while recycling items in one central location.

Representing the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Wendy Worley, Recycling and Materials Management, Section Chief, spoke about the state of North Carolina being home to more than 16,000 private-sector recycling jobs, with more than 650 businesses dedicated to recycling, such as fellow panelist Bill Clark, Regional Sourcing Development & Clean Glass Initiative Manager for Strategic Materials.

Chad Beane, Solid Waste Division Manager, Moore County Public Works, who’s operation was identified by Bill Clark as a model for other programs, discussed Moore County’s success in creating a local aggregation site that provides an opportunity for residents, bars and restaurants to continue to recycle their glass containers, which are then processed by Strategic Materials and shipped to companies like the Ardagh Group manufacturing facility in Wilson to be made into new glass bottles.

From left to right: John T Shaddox from Ardagh Group, Wendy Worley from the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Bill Clark from Strategic Materials and Chad Beane from Moore County Public Works.

“Ardagh Group is proud to be a member of the North Carolina Craft Brewers Guild and to collaborate with local breweries,” said Clint Gawart, Vice President of Sales for Ardagh Group’s North American Glass division. “With more than 300 breweries and brewpubs in the state, Ardagh Group is proud to manufacture quality, sustainable glass bottles in Wilson, supporting the needs of the North Carolina craft beer community.”

BOB had a wonderful time at the event. If you didn’t get a chance to attend this year, look for future events similar to this one coming to your neck of the woods.

Cheers!
BOB