Our Green Efforts
From Wikipedia: “Recycling involves processing used materials into new products in order to prevent the waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage, reduce air (from incineration) and water (from landfilling) pollution by reducing the need for “conventional” waste disposal, and lower greenhouse gas emissions as compared to virgin production.”
At Cape Cod Beer we take the concept of recycling very seriously. We consider the land on which we live and the resources it gives us a gift and do everything we can to make ourselves and our business “earth friendly”. We have made every effort in our manufacturing process to reduce, reuse or recycle in every possible way. We have also taken these steps in both our retail and wholesale components of our business.
We are proud to announce that we have been recently certified “Cape & Islands Green” ~ Level 1. For more information about this program click on the logo.
What makes Cape Cod Beer Earth Friendly?
- We RECYCLE everything we can: Glass, Paper, Cardboard, Metal, Plastic, etc. Every Monday morning we take our box truck to the Barnstable Transfer Station loaded with 100s of broken down cardboard boxes, newspapers and office paper (approx 60 cubic feet per week), approx 30 lbs of plastic and metal recycling (all sample cups and used/returned bottle caps). We also bring along any and all glass bottles that are not fit for reuse – this equates to at least one 50 gal barrel per week. All of our employees and every person who tours are facility are educated on our recycling efforts and are encouraged to do so on their own.
- We only sell our beer is refillable containers: KEGS & REFILLABLE GROWLERS keep glass out of our landfills. Cape Cod Beer sells beer in ½ gallon refillable bottles called growlers. Every day we are open people bring their growlers in for refills, each time keeping that bottle from entering the landfill. Kegs are the ultimate refillable container. Cape Cod Beer owns approx 1,200 kegs – many of which have been filled and refilled over 100 times since 2004. Draught beers also keeps glass bottles out of the landfill!
- Our brewing process RECLAIMS & RECYCLES water used to cool our wort. Before we can add yeast to our wort for fermentation we must cool the liquid down so as to not kill the yeast. This is done through the use of a heat exchanger where cold water from the municipal supply is used to cool down the wort. This water is reclaimed in our hot liquor tanks – basically meaning that the beer we brew today is brewed with water that was used to cool down yesterdays’ brew. This is at minimum 15 bbls or 465 gallons per batch. In a years time that would be approx 78,000 gallons of water reclaimed and reused.
- We’ve undergone a complete ENERGY AUDIT and converted to CF LIGHT BULBS throughout. As part of a program through the Cape Light Compact we have changed out all of our Halogen bay lights for CF bulbs, conserving energy. We also made some modifications and customizations to our new systems including: insulating the reservoir on the keg washer to better retain heat and reduce electricity, converting our old energy inefficient electric hot liquor tank to a gas powered boiler to heat hot water faster and more efficiently, as well as an insulated tank to store that hot water in. We are also researching some solar heating water heating options, as well as the opportunity to use brewery stack heat to pre-heat water. We are always looking to reduce energy use in our production area, and will continue to do so as new technologies are developed.
- We RECYCLE SPENT GRAIN as animal feed & compost – keeping it out of the waste stream! Once the mashing process is complete, spent grains are considered a waste product. Our spent grains are utilized by several local farmers to feed pigs, and we continue to actively search out livestock farmers in our area. The remaining grains are composted. Occasionally some spent grains are used by friends and family for baking cookies, breads and crackers , though we produce more spent grain that can be used in food products.
- We sell & DISTRIBUTE OUR BEER WITHIN 50 MILES of our brewery – versus beers that come from all over the world! Think Carbon Footprint! We have recently added a diesel box truck to our “fleet” and are considering the implications of converting it to bio diesel.
- When we expanded our operation in 2008/09 we made every effort to consider GREEN CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES wherever possible. Much of our construction debris was reusable, and we know that our cinder blocks became a family’s retaining wall, and the floor to the old loft turned into a chicken coop. We also took advantcge of other’s construction debris, re-purposing lights that were coming out of a decommisioned CVS and putting them to use in our new second floor space, as well as re-purposing sliding glass doors from a restaurant renovation project as windows in our new space. A large quantity of office cubicles and furniture, which a local company had outgrown, suited us perfectly for just the right price! New materials we purchased were chosen with consideration as well, favoring a flooring material made from recycled products, and emitting the least volatile fumes.
- As we move forward we continue to consider projects such as solar panels, roof top wind turbines and other EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES. Our new glycol chiller was built specifically to utilize excess heat build up to heat water, and our new keg washer was modified to our specifications to better retain heat and prevent heat loss.
We at Cape Cod Beer take our jobs as caretakers of the earth every seriously. We encourage our employees and their families, as well as our wholesale and retail customers to do the same. We believe wholeheartedly that there is so much more that the people of Massachusetts can do to reduce or waste stream and to be more earth-friendly, and we feel strongly that we need to lead by example and share our experiences with anyone who will listen and possibly be inspired to do so themselves.
We were honored to receive Mass Recycle Business Green Binnie Award on October 7th, 2008. For more info about the award go to massrecycle.org