Green Beer

Green beer is not just for St. Patrick’s Day anymore. Vermont’s Long Trail Brewing Company is crafting what it calls Eco Brew, a beer made with some cool energy-saving practices.

On Earth Day this past week the brewery announced its participation in Central Vermont Public Service’s Cow Power program, which will allow it to power its production facilities with energy derived from the methane produced by Vermont dairy cows. The impact of this switch is equivalent to taking 106 cars off the road.

This is just part of the brewery’s ecofriendly policies. Long Trail has cut its water use by more than 60 percent and implemented a heat recovery system that recycles steam produced in the brewing process, thereby reducing its propane use by over 1,000 gallons a month. It recycles the grease from its kitchen into biodiesel to power its tractors, and its spent mash is used as feed for local cows.

It may not be easy being green—the switch to methane power will reportedly cost Long Trail $10,000 a year—but these Vermonters are doing a bang-up job of it. Cheers to that.