In the early days, there was no such thing as small-scale brewing equipment. Everything Sierra Nevada used was built or re-modelled for the brewery. Back then, "reduce, reuse, recycle" wasn't a catchphrase but a business model. With this ethos and their roots in scenic Northern California, it helped solidify their commitment to the environment. Since the early days Sierra Nevada have been recognised locally, statewide, and nationally for their commitment to reducing their environmental impact. Although proven as a leader in environmental sustainability, they are always looking for the next step they can take to be more efficient.
Watch this short video on how the brewery operates.
Did you know?
That the Sierra Nevada Chico, CA, brewery houses one of the largest privately-owned solar arrays in the USA? The 10,751 panels cover enough rooftop space to span 3.5 football fields and supply 20% of the brewery's electricity, the equivalent of powering 265 average American households for a year.
In Mills River, NC, they have a comparatively modest collection of 2,200 panels including free-standing "solar trees" in the car park.
Running off natural gas in Chico and biogas produced from their wastewater treatment plant in Mills River, each brewery uses micro-turbine technology to generate electricity. Chico's system of 10 micro-turbines has a generating capacity of two megawatts compared to Mills River's two units that generate nearly one-half a megawatt.
Chico's system is also equipped with a band of batteries that allows Sierra Nevada to store excess energy during the day for use during off-peak times.
At both breweries, Sierra Nevada incorporate energy efficiency practices in a variety of systems. Heat recovery units on boilers, micro turbines, and brew kettles capture energy that otherwise would be lost, and devices on large motors and pumps conserve energy by automatically adjusting to demand.
Lighting also plays a key role in cutting down on wasted electricity. Ambient light sensors adjust electric lighting based on the amount of natural light coming through large windows and skylights throughout the brewery. Energy is further conserved by using motion sensors and timers to ensure lights are off when they're not using them.
So Shop Sierra Nevada beers here
Beers that are good to the environment as well as tasting good!