Alcohols gone green

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, I discovered some interesting green activities in the global alcoholic beverage industry.

Five top UK brewers, SabMiller, Scottish & Newcastle, Marston’s, Wells & Young’s, Frederic Robinson’s Ltd., have adopted lighter-weight glass bottles for their beers, ales and wines, according to the non-profit organization Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP).

The total savings from the five brewers’ efforts is 3,800 tonnes of glass and 2,515 tonnes of CO2, said WRAP.

Wine groups worldwide have developed a partnership called the International Wine Industry Greenhouse Gas Accounting Protocol, which will help track and measure the carbon footprints of winery and vineyard operations of all sizes. Included in the partnership are the Wine Institute of California, New Zealand Winegrowers, South Africa’s Integrated Production of Wine program, and the Wine Federation of Australia.

Speaking of Australia, Tasmania’s Cascade Brewery Company recently launched its new 100% carbon offset beer, Cascade Green. The low-carb, preservative free lager uses light-weight, high-recycled content glass bottles packaged in a 100% recycled carton printed with biodegradable vegetable oil-based inks. What makes it green, the company said, is all remaining carbon emissions from the beer’s production is neutralize by the purchase of a carbon offset certification approved under Australia’s Greenhouse Friendly Program (GFP).

Finally in California, Sierra Nevada Brewery plans to take green brewing a step further by using solar energy to its facility in Chico, Calif. A total 1.3 megawatt system to be installed will provide 34% of the brewery’s power.

Enjoy and drink moderately (don’t you have work tomorrow??).

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