Athens Brewery to Produce Solar-brewed Beer
Thursday, September 12th, 2019
Since its founding in 2002, Terrapin Beer Co. has taken great care to minimize its impact on the environment.
Soon, that commitment to being a leader in sustainability will go a step further as Terrapin becomes the first Georgia brewer to purchase renewable power directly at its facility. Through a partnership with Cherry Street Energy, a new solar array will be installed on the Terrapin rooftop, as well as solar-panel sunshades in the brewery’s parking lot.
The installed array will offset about 30% of Terrapin’s energy consumption with a renewable resource. Cherry Street Energy, an Atlanta based renewable power company, will own, operate and maintain the array and sell the power generated back to Terrapin.
“We are thrilled to partner with Terrapin to help with their commitment to be a leader in sustainability,” said Samantha Lenard, Cherry Street Energy’s director of sustainability. “Our model allows Terrapin to avoid the upfront cost of the solar infrastructure, and solely pay for the power generated at competitive rates to their current utility. Terrapin will offset up to 339 tons of CO2e which saves 362 acres of U.S. forest in one year and is equivalent to taking 65 passenger cars off of the road every year.”
Terrapin’s sustainability efforts, dubbed Terraprint, encompass the brewery’s consideration for its effect on the local watershed, energy use, soil quality and other resource consumption. In addition to the effects of carbon compounds when fossil fuels are consumed, the Terraprint accounts for any impact Terrapin might have on the environment and the communities it touches.
“Every decision we make at the brewery has an effect,” said Dustin Watts, Terrapin president. “Be it the local waterways we pull from, the energy each shift consumes, the soil we help build through composting, or any of the resources we draw on to manufacture, we choose to be aware of these effects and strive to keep our impact on these resources to a minimum.”
The addition of solar energy is just the latest in a long list of sustainability initiatives at Terrapin. In spring of 2019 the company partnered with local Athens firm LUC Shares to communicate their sustainability story as well as celebrate their commitment to community.
To reduce electricity consumption on-site, Terrapin installed LED lighting with automated sensors in its warehouse and high efficiency on-demand boilers in the brewery. The company also instituted a no-idling policy across the Terrapin campus.
From steam line condensate capture and recycling to implementation of a new clean-in-place system on brewing and fermentation tanks to an innovative wastewater pre-treatment facility, Terrapin looks to curb its consumption of this valuable resource while mitigating its impact upon local watersheds. Terrapin has designated October “Water Awareness Month” at the brewery and will donate a portion of the proceeds from select beers to Georgia river advocacy.
Byproduct from the wastewater pre-treatment facility is composted and returned to the brewery landscape for beautification, plant health and erosion mitigation. The brewery’s Ales For Trails program helps enhance outdoor experiences of the communities where Terrapin is sold. Each of these steps reinforces the value Terrapin places on good dirt and that which grows up from it.
Terrapin works hard to reduce, reuse, repurpose, recycle and upcycle. By being the first craft brewery in Georgia to package its beer in recyclable aluminum cans, Terrapin doubled the amount of beer it could deliver on each truck, which reduced its use of fuel, space, time and human energy. The installation of a new beer filtration system eliminated a significant waste stream, and Terrapin’s cartons and case boxes are made of recycled material and are 100 percent recyclable.
“Love for the outdoors is at the core of who we are at Terrapin, as a brewery and as individual employees,” said Watts. “We look to do what’s best for our communities and for the environment because it matters to each of us. It’s that simple.”