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Brewing For Tomorrow

Founded on old-world brewing traditions and Californian ingenuity, Firestone Walker has always been committed to making the next beer better than the last. The concept of “reuse, repurpose and recycle” comes naturally to a brewery that crafted its first batch using converted winemaking equipment here on the Central Coast.

Just as brewers throughout the ages have toiled to create beer using resources close at hand, we continually strive to fine tune our operations so that we can create world-class brews in a beautiful locale for generations to come.

Our Sustainability Report was researched and reported by our co-founder's daughter, Georgie Walker, in July 2018.

Energy

We minimize energy use throughout each step of our operation, be it electricity, natural gas or fuel. In the brewhouse, all of our tanks are insulated and all motors are demand-controlled. We utilize kettle steam recovery systems that save energy as well as water, and we also recover energy by capturing heat during the wort cooling process. LED lighting located throughout the campus increases energy efficiency by 75 percent. Additionally, our new warehouse is energy efficient thanks to its highly reflective roof; leading-edge insulation; electric forklifts; and efforts to ship by rail when possible.

We have also secured a 2.1 MW solar power installation, which will reduce our carbon footprint and produce renewable clean energy on campus. This state-of-the-art installation will occupy less than 10 acres of land and will produce an estimated 3,565 MWh of energy annually. Our goal is to have most of the beer we make powered and brewed by Paso Robles sunshine.

Recycling

Not wanting anything to go to waste, we divert as much from the landfill as possible through the recycling, reusing and repurposing of excess material and equipment.

Our spent grains and yeast are converted to feed for local livestock. Additionally, we have most supplies delivered in bulk--including grain, bottles, and cans—which cuts down on incoming materials waste. Our processed plastics, aluminum, glass and cardboard are 100 percent recycled. We also aim to minimize waste throughout distribution by streamlining packaging, removing excessive cardboard and plastic, and maintaining our own fleet of steel kegs that are reclaimed and maintained in-house.

An important part of our waste program is The Boneyard-- an area devoted to the storage of old equipment that is repurposed in various projects. For example, an old whirlpool has been transformed into seating at our Venice location. Similarly, we use reclaimed city water tanks at our wastewater treatment facility.

Water

As Californians, we understand how vital water is to the landscape and to our community. For this reason, our brewhouse employs techniques to ensure that this resource is used sparingly throughout each stage of the brewing process. Recycling weak wort allows us to save two to three thousand gallons of water per turn. Recovering condensate from steam enables us to apply that energy toward heating other kettles. Additionally, “clean- in-place” programs and water recirculating in filtration further reduce our level of water consumption. As our skilled brewers strive to optimize each step of the brewing process, we continue to seek new ways to conserve this precious resource.

 

WASTEWATER TREATMENT FACILITY

In 2015 we installed a water treatment facility on campus in order to process our effluent water, thus benefiting our local utilities and community. We work to recover small amounts of wastewater, about 10,000 gallons per week. The remainder is processed, separating out the fine organic material and leaving the water acceptable for delivery back into the city’s waste water infrastructure. This facility also provides up to 65 KW of energy through anaerobic digestion.

To download our Sustainability one-sheet, please click here.

 

To read the full Sustainability report by Georgie Walker, please click here.