Allagash Brewing Company, Austin Street Brewery, Island Dog Brewing, Maine Beer Company, and Nonesuch River Brewing have completed the New England Sustainable Craft Beverage Program workbook. The breweries successfully fulfilled the requirements demonstrating commitment and leadership in sustainable practices to reduce the businesses’ overall environmental impact. Maine Brewers’ Guild executive director Sean Sullivan says, “Quality beer and a beautiful natural environment are core to Maine’s brand. We’re proud to have breweries who are prioritizing operational sustainability and mitigating environmental impacts to ensure future Mainers can enjoy the way life should be.”
The New England Sustainable Craft Beverage Program is the result of an EPA Pollution Prevention (P2) project led by the New England Environmental Finance Center (New England EFC) to provide technical assistance to the Maine Craft Beverage sector on source reduction opportunities that can increase environmental, economic, and social (triple bottom line) performance. Through the implementation of continuously improving sustainability practices, industry benchmarking, and sharing of research, this program is helping the industry become more competitive in a water and waste-intensive industry. Free technical assistance is available from the New England EFC to help brewers become more sustainable and save money in the process.
“Maine breweries are demonstrating the importance of sustainability and the EFC is proud to offer the craft beverage industry a program that communicates how they are systemizing operations to be more sustainable. In addition to the innovative operational work of the participating breweries, the educational aspect of the program provides a great opportunity for University of Southern Maine (USM) students as the breweries contribute to the skills development of the next generation of sustainability professionals”, said Martha Sheils, Director of the New England EFC.
The program also benefits from the leadership and experience of USM Adjunct Professor, Peter Cooke, who instructs and guides the student interns from USM’s Food Studies Program and other academic departments. USM student interns are assisting brewers with process mapping, conducting site visits, and rolling out the New England Sustainable Craft Beverage Program workbook to all brewers who are interested in being recognized as sustainability leaders in the industry.
Brewers should contact the New England EFC for further details. The New England EFC is also collaborating with technical assistance partners in New Hampshire and Vermont to reach out to breweries that are interested in the recognition program, and collectively find opportunities to develop benchmarks and best practices for craft brewers.