Local Brewers Embrace Sustainability

Urban Chestnut Brewing Company
was recently named one of the EPA’s sixteen national WasteWise Award Winners for their sustainability efforts in 2017, earning Small Business Partner of the Year. The WasteWise program recognizes organizations ranging from small nonprofits to large multinational corporations that demonstrate significant effort to prevent and divert waste.

“Sustainability has been a major focus of Urban Chestnut’s business plan since our inception in 2011,” said Quality Assurance Manager, Kurt Driesner. “Whenever possible, sustainable designs and processes are implemented at the point of installation.” The company’s commitment to sustainability has earned them the only LEED certification (silver) for a brewery in the state of Missouri. In the previous calendar year, UCBC diverted or repurposed 96-97% of its waste, including nearly 1.1 million pounds of spent grain and 28,000 pounds of wood pallets. The brewery added spent yeast to its waste diversion efforts in 2017 through a partnership with Center Ethanol in Sauget, IL and has prevented approximately 400,000 pounds of spent yeast from entering the municipal waste stream to date.

“This is yet another excellent example of the EPA partnering with communities and organizations to achieve environmental and economic benefits through waste prevention and management. The WasteWise award winners have exemplified tremendous environmental stewardship and fiscal responsibility, and we commend their efforts,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.

Last year, WasteWise partners collectively prevented and recycled over 355,801 tons of waste, saving $17.7 million in avoided landfill fees. Since the program started 23 years ago, partners have diverted 8.5 million tons of waste that would have otherwise been disposed of in landfills or incinerators. These actions – which include waste prevention, recycling, composting, and donation – have offset over $400 million in avoided landfill fees.

In addition, UCBC is thrilled to announce they’ve teamed with the Saint Louis Zoo to create Grizzly Ridge Kölsch, the first official beer of the Saint Louis Zoo! The beer will be available at the Zoo as well as at grocery stores and beer retailers in St. Louis City, St. Louis and St. Charles counties and the Metro East area beginning June 22nd. For every case of Grizzly Ridge Kölsch sold at area retailers, Urban Chestnut will donate $3 to the Saint Louis Zoo to support its animal care and conservation work. Visit UrbanChestnut.com to find out more!

Old Bakery Beer
What makes your beer or brewery unique? We try to make sure that our beer is as truly local as possible! This means using exclusively American hops & malts, instead of importing them from Europe, Australia, etc. The U.S. has an abundance of great ingredients for brewing, so we make sure to take advantage of that! We brew a variety of styles from around the world, but put our own twist on them by making them with American ingredients. We are also the only certified organic brewery located in the St. Louis area, and one of only 40 in the country!

What sustainable business practices does your brewery use? Sustainability has been on our minds since the brewery was just a glimmer in our eyes, which is why we decided to become certified organic & use strictly American malts & hops. We also focus on sustainability in our restaurant by composting & recycling everything we can, purchasing post-consumer recycled products & earth-friendly cleaning products, locally sourcing ingredients, & raising money for local charities as frequently as possible.

What can Healthy Planet readers look forward to from your brewery? (new flavors, etc.) This year, we have created a line of Farm to Glass beers featuring locally-grown ingredients from a couple of our favorite farms! The next one coming up is a Basil Pale Ale brewed with fresh Genovese Basil from EarthDance Farms in Ferguson, MO. Basil and hops share a lot of aromatic compounds, so we think everyone will really enjoy this pairing when it is released in early July! Then, keep an eye out this Fall for the next beer in the Farm to Glass series — a Carrot Cake Brown Ale featuring carrots from EarthDance Farms along with warming spices to recreate one of our favorite desserts in beer form!