Almost happy hour on the west coast.
Actually anytime you find yourself reading this it’s five o’clock somewhere. So raise your glass, because it’s time to solute the climate solutions brewing in one of Oregon’s signature industries.
Craft brewing is an economic powerhouse in Oregon, generating nearly $3 billion in economic impact while providing direct employment to nearly 7,000 people across the state.
The Oregon brew industry is home to farmers, brewers and distributors who take real pride in sourcing, crafting and delivering their delicious product. And great beer means great business and jobs for coastal communities, the Willamette Valley, east of the Cascades and beyond in an industry on the rise.
But anything this great takes a lot of energy. And the brewing industry – like so many other Oregon industries that depend on land, air and water – is recognizing both the impacts of climate change on their products and supply chain, as well as the opportunities for instilling climate solutions into the way they run their business.
Take Standing Stone Brewery in Ashland, which started its journey to carbon-free by giving commuter bikes to every employee. Or Hopworks Urban Brewery in Portland, where sustainably-operated buildings and energy efficient machinery help them stay clean and lean. Or Deschutes Brewery in Bend, where 100 percent of the electricity used is either renewable or offset. Or out on the coast at Fort George Brewery in Astoria, where brewer and proprietor Jack Harris says “Every day we are given the opportunity to make decisions that can cumulatively have a real influence on the long term viability of our environment. The means is the end.”
Many of these brewers and more joined the 250+ businesses calling for climate action in Oregon. Additional shout-outs go to Buoy Beer Company and Wet Dog Cafe and Brewery in Astoria, Ninkasi Brewing in Eugene and Wandering Aengus Ciderworks in Salem.
Recently the Widmer Brothers upped the ante. In addition to their in-house measures, these guys are raising their voice in the Oregonian, supporting the EPA’s Clean Power Plan and calling for Oregon to make a full transition from coal to clean, renewable energy.
The Solutions Stories crew at Climate Solutions and Sustainable Media Group teamed up with Energy Trust of Oregon to tell the story of Worthy Brewing, Goschie Farms and Columbia Distributing. From the farm to the foam in your glass, these businesses are building a sustainable lifecycle for beer through clean energy and energy efficiency.