From our beginning as a one-person operation in 1995, Allagash has focused on being an environmentally and socially responsible member of the community. Since then, we’ve put in place a comprehensive sustainability initiative, with a focus on reducing waste, using less water and power, and giving back to our local community.
As of July 2016, our solar panels have displaced the equivalent of just over twenty-one thousand pounds of CO². We had debated internally about the “right” time to put up panels, but were pushed to finish the project by brewer/founder Rob Tod’s daughter, a nordic skier who was very interested in initiatives that aimed to keep Maine’s cold winter, cold.
Every little bit of reduction helps.Thanks to motion detection, areas go dark when they’re not in use.
We live in Maine, which means it gets cold sometimes. So we hired Freeaire to install a system that uses air from outside (when it’s cold) to help reduce the environmental cost of conventional refrigeration. In the first year, this system has reduced our electrical usage by over 104 MWh, or 160,881 lbs of CO₂.
We’re in the process of converting all of our light from traditional bulbs to LEDs. They last longer, take up less energy and are generally not unpleasant to look at.
In 2015, we managed to divert 99.75% of all waste from the landfill. We did this by finding people who wanted to use the things we no longer could.
The Green Team
This team of sustainability-focused Allagash members was originally titled “Hippy Lazer.” Their guidance can be seen across the entire brewery: notably, they collaborated with our engineers during the construction of the brewery’s new packaging hall and offices in 2014. Many new sustainability projects are currently in the works with the Green Team deeply involved.
Our state-of-the-art cold start steam generators allow us to shut down our water heaters when they’re not in use (generally, you have to keep water heated all the time). These two generators can take cold water up to 130 PSI of steam in 5 minutes. We also reuse as much condensate as possible, so when the steam turns back into water, we collect that and pump it back into our feedwater tank.
By buying our cleaning materials (chemicals, solutions) in bulk and storing them in large containers, we’ve reduced the number of drums we have to dispose of (and those we no longer need go to local businesses that can use them).
Three days a week—with a few snow-related exceptions—Norm, of Justice Farms, stops by to pick up our spent grain, which he uses as cow feed.
Sharing with Our Community
In 2016 Allagash is set to donate around $340,000 back to the community. We’re passionate about giving back to local partners who enrich the area in which we live and work.
We strive to source ingredients as locally and responsibly as possible. All the grain that goes into our Sixteen Counties Ale is grown in Maine.
Garbage 2 Garden
We’re proud to be one of the first commercial partners for Garbage 2 Garden, a local composting and waste management service. They help us maximize employee composting, dispose of all the spent fruit from our beers, manage events, and more. You can find their website here: https://garbagetogarden.org/