April 27, 2015
Ale Asylum, the Madison brewery with a 100-kilowatt rooftop solar electric system, has become the first Wisconsin brewery to sign a declaration to fight climate change being circulated by Ceres, a sustainability advocacy nonprofit.
More than 50 beer producers have signed the Brewery Climate Declaration, which holds that climate change caused by air pollution poses a threat and a challenge that must be addressed.
“And in doing this right, by saving money when we use less electricity, by driving a more efficient car, by choosing clean energy, by inventing new technologies that other countries buy, and creating jobs here at home, we will maintain our way of life and remain a true superpower in a competitive world,” the declaration says.
For its part, Ale Asylum installed the 480 solar panels that produce about 20 percent of the electricity needed to operate its brewery and produce about 20,000 barrels of beer each year.
“When we built our new facility, one of our goals was to increase our sustainability efforts,” Dean Coffey, Ale Asylum brewmaster said. “These measures include recycling spent grain to local area farmers, utilizing energy given off in the brewing process for our tasting room, and harnessing the cold winter air to help keep our large walk-in cooler at the proper temperature.”
Tyler Huebner, executive director of Renew Wisconsin, said a number of Wisconsin breweries, including MillerCoors LLC and Milwaukee Brewing Co., have taken steps to reduce energy consumption and re-purpose waste. The Brewery Climate Declaration represents a “can-do” message to be followed by the 2,800 breweries in the U.S., Huebner said.
This article was written by Tom Held for the Milwaukee Business Journal.
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