Sustainable Beer: Raising Glasses to Green Brewing

Sustainable Beer: Introduction

Sustainable beer is the buzzword of the moment, and in this week’s tip, we’re delving into the world of eco-friendly brewing practices. With the festive season around the corner, beer consumption is set to soar. But did you know your choice of brew can contribute to a greener planet?

Discover the simple steps you can take to make a positive impact on the environment, one sip at a time. Each small action adds up, influencing those around us and creating a domino effect of positive change. Ready to learn how your beer choice can make a difference? Read on for practical tips on enjoying your favourite beverage while reducing your ecological footprint. Let’s toast to sustainability!

Beer: A History

Step back in time, and you’ll find beer weaving its way through the tapestry of human history. Millennia ago, ancient civilisations like the Sumerians and Egyptians were already savouring the golden nectar. Did you know that in 4000 B.C., the Sumerians inscribed their passion for beer on clay tablets, celebrating it as a gift from the gods.

Fast forward to the Middle Ages, where monasteries became brewing hubs. Monks, the alchemists of their time, experimented with various ingredients, refining the art of brewing. A frothy revolution was brewing!

By the 15th century, German beer purity laws emerged, decreeing that beer should only contain water, malt, and hops. This laid the foundation for quality brewing that continues today.

The Industrial Revolution brought forth mechanisation, transforming small-scale brewing into a global industry. In the late 19th century, enterprising minds introduced refrigeration, forever changing the flavour and storage of beer.

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Sustainable Beer The world's oldest depiction of people sharing a beer is over 4000 years old
The world's oldest depiction of people sharing a beer is over 4000 years old

Today, beer is a global phenomenon, with countless styles and flavours. It’s not just a drink; it’s a cultural touchstone. But hold your mug, there’s more to explore! Interested in the environmental impact of non-sustainable beer? Read on to discover how your choices shape our planet’s future. Cheers to history and the intriguing tales it tells!

Non-Sustainable Beer: Environmental Impact

Non-sustainable beer production packs a hefty environmental punch. Each pint of this conventional delight gobbles up a jaw-dropping 168 litres of water! Picture filling a whole bathtub for just one drink! But the environmental strain doesn’t end there.

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Think about the ingredients. Growing hops and barley demands acres of land, often clearing forests and impacting biodiversity. Waste piles up too. Brewing generates substantial waste, from spent grains to leftover hops, contributing to landfills and methane emissions.

Energy use during brewing also raises eyebrows. Heating, cooling, and fermenting the concoction demand a lot of power, adding to the carbon footprint. In fact a pint of beer can have a carbon footprint of up to nearly a KG.

When it comes to transportation, the global beer trade logs miles, racking up emissions from shipping ingredients to breweries worldwide. And packaging? Cans and bottles end up in landfills, taking ages to break down.

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Sustainable Beer - Packaging, especially plastic is a major issue when it comes to non sustainable beer
Packaging, especially plastic is a major issue when it comes to non sustainable beer

Keen on quenching your thirst for sustainability? Interested in making a difference with your beer choices? Read on to learn how you can enjoy your brew responsibly while being a friend to our planet. Discover more ways to sip sustainably!

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Sustainable Beer: What to Look For

Choosing sustainable beer is a refreshing way to sip responsibly. Look for breweries committed to eco-friendly practices. Seek out those using organic locally sourced ingredients to reduce the carbon footprint associated with transportation.

Consider the brewing process. Opt for beers crafted with water-efficient methods, as some breweries have innovatively reduced their water usage, making a positive impact on the environment. You can also embrace biodiversity-friendly options. Some breweries prioritise biodiversity by cultivating diverse crops, promoting healthier ecosystems, and avoiding harmful pesticides.

Think about packaging. Choose brands using recyclable or biodegradable materials to cut down on waste. Many sustainable breweries are shifting towards eco-friendly packaging alternatives. Finally. explore certifications. Look for beers with recognised sustainability certifications like B Corp. These certifications ensure that the brewery meets specific environmental and social standards.

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Sustainable Beer - Drinking sustainable beer means you can enjoy time with your friends and help the planet
Drinking sustainable beer means you can enjoy time with your friends and help the planet

Ready to take a sip towards a greener world? Discover more about sustainable beer practices and explore three of our favourite sustainable beer brands. Learn how these brands are making a positive impact, reducing your footprint one enjoyable sip at a time. Cheers to sustainability!

Sustainable Beer: Three of Our Favourite Brands

Toast Ale

Our first brand,  Toast Ale stands out for its unique approach to sustainability by brewing with surplus fresh bread, diverting it from landfills. Their commitment to a circular economy is evident in their waste-reducing practices. The company is legally committed to donating all our profits to charities, not shareholders and they ensure a minimum of 1% of revenue is invested in impact giving and investing. Their main charity partner is Feedback and they have also worked with Rainforest Trust UK, Soil Heroes Foundation and many food charities including FoodForAll.

Sustainable Beer - Toast Beer is brewed sustainably from surplus bread
Toast Ale is brewed sustainably from surplus bread

Adnams Southwold

Our next sustainable choice is Adnams Southwold, a stalwart in the UK brewing scene. The company is a trailblazer in sustainability. They prioritise eco-friendly practices by investing in renewable energy sources, such as a solar array and an anaerobic digestion plant. Adnams emphasises local sourcing, collaborating with nearby farmers for ingredients. Their commitment extends to water efficiency and waste reduction, showcasing a holistic approach to brewing sustainably. We love their beer and best of all, the kind folks at Adnams have provided Play It Green subscribers with a 10% discount. Simply use code PLAYITGREEN10 at checkout to claim your exclusive money off.

Sustainable Beer - Adnams Soutwold have sustainability and social value at its heart
Adnams Southwold has sustainability and social value at its core

Small Beer

Our final brand, Small Beer is a standout in sustainability, proudly holding B Corp certification. They specialise in brewing lower-alcohol beers, reducing the overall environmental impact. Small Beer focuses on resource efficiency, using less water and energy in their brewing processes. Their commitment to sustainability is evident in their circular economy practices, from upcycling brewing by-products to using recycled materials in their packaging. Small Beer’s B Corp status reflects their dedication to balancing purpose and profit. Best of all, the lovely people at Small Beer have provided Play It Green members with an exclusive discount! Use code PLAYITGREEN10 at checkout to claim your saving.

Sustainable Beer Small Beer is B Corp certified and puts planet and people on a par with profit
Small Beer is B Corp certified and puts planet and people on a par with profit

Sustainable Beer: Wrap Up

When it comes to sustainable beer, Adnams Southwold, Small Beer, and Toast Ale shine as beacons of change. These breweries prove that small steps lead to significant environmental impact. Embracing local sourcing, circular economies, and eco-friendly practices, they showcase how thoughtful choices transform the brewing industry.

As a member of Play It Green, you’re not just savouring sustainably brewed beer; you’re part of a community driving positive change. These sips, from our featured brands, signify the collective power of individuals creating a greener world. Cheers to making a big difference, one sip at a time!

Please remember to drink responsibly this festive season.

Not A Member Yet?

Why Not Join Play It Green for £5 per month

Play It Green: Empowering Your Sustainability Journey

Ready to take your commitment to sustainability to the next level? Play It Green stands as your partner in creating positive environmental change. From educational resources on sustainable practices and signposting to sustainable services to initiatives like tree planting and social giving, Play It Green offers a holistic approach to environmental stewardship. 

Join us in the journey toward sustainability—embrace eco-conscious practices and be a force for positive change in our world. All whilst staying relevant, meeting legislation and aligning with the values of today’s consumers and employees.

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