SingleSpeed has solar panels on their roof. Big Grove has a creek restoration project with more than a hundred new trees. Reclaimed Rails built most of their taproom out of pre-used building materials. Alluvial has a prairie restoration project with trails outside the taproom. We want to be like these other awesome Iowa breweries!
Brewing is a resource-intensive industry, but through inspiration from those folks mentioned above and some excellent education opportunities at the Iowa Waste Reduction Center, we have committed ourselves to try the best we can to be an environmentally-friendly business. The IWRC recently awarded us a gold-level Iowa Green Brewery Certification.
We’re always going to want to do more, but here are some things we’re doing right now in the interest of sustainability:
- tracking inventory, energy, waste generation rates, and water
- recovering and reusing heat generated by the brewing process
- reusing heat exchange water to fill hot liquor tanks and for reusing water for cleaning purposes
- using environmentally neutral cleaning products in the taproom
- using post-consumer recycled paper products
- recycling aluminum, plastic, glass, cardboard, and menu paper
- diverting spent grain from the landfill
- using local ingredients when we can
More about our spent grain
What happens to the brewery's leftover grain?
We use 300 to 800 pounds of grain every brew day, which leaves us with about twice that weight in heavy, wet spent grain that we don’t have a use for. Our solution? Carl and Marcia Ginapp's very hungry livestock!
This 200-strong herd of katahdin sheep, shown here at their home outside of Rock Falls, love our protein-rich grain, Carl says. The herd produces about 350 lambs a year.
The Ginapps also have six crossbreed steers, which are "raised the way grandpa used to," says Carl. Their balanced diet also includes FHB grains like the sheep and they are raised without growth hormones or antibiotics.
We love that our grain has this second life, especially because it's with a small hyper-local family-owned business like ours. Very cool! And don’t worry, good people of Rock Falls, there will be no mobs of drunken sheep or cattle! Spent grain contains no alcohol.
(Photos by Carl Ginapp)