Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. is extremely proud of achieving a long-time goal of being awarded the coveted and highest level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum status. Their Mills River, North Carolina, craft brewing facility began construction in 2012 with the purpose to meet LEED’s globally recognized rating system for the construction and design of buildings that are environmentally responsible.
This prestigious award was just presented to Sierra Nevada in June of 2016, and that recognized its commitment to environmental sustainable brewing in a major way. Their press release noted that the new Mills River brewery went far beyond what other breweries have done in their buildings and brewing process equipment in order to excel now and have a more sustainable brewery for many coming generations.
The LEED review board reviewed these main capabilities at Mills River:
1. “Energy Creation and Performance” found that nearly 2,200 photovoltaic solar panels were spread out on the warehouse roof and on nine canopies in the main parking area. Added to the microturbines, an average of one megawatt of AC power is produced on site, which could power dozens of homes.
2. “Water Use, Recovery, and Treatment” conserves water and reduces the consumption of water to an industry low of 3.5 barrels in the making of one barrel of beer. Also, the entire site was designed to collect rainwater runoff and repurpose it for non-potable needs and irrigation. Runoff is managed and stored by an elaborate system that clears sediment before the water re-enters the French Broad River.
3. “Resource Recovery” is accomplished through eliminating waste materials through extensive composting and recycling programs and diversion of 81 percent of waste away from landfills.
4. “Building Efficiency and Indoor Environmental Quality” is in the construction of the building including panel-built concrete walls and insulation together with energy efficient windows and doors. Those keep noise to a minimum, the temperatures stable, and the energy-saving natural light at a high level.
The term “craft breweries” typically applies to independently-owned commercial breweries that use traditional brewing methods but have a big emphasis on quality and flavor. They are constantly employing innovative ways to make their craft beer unique and extremely tasty.
In addition to its advances in sustainability, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., one of America’s premier craft breweries with breweries in Chico, California, as well as the new Mills River, has been the leader in setting the standard for craft brewers throughout the world with their use of the finest quality ingredients and innovations in the craft beer brewhouse.