Beer that doesn’t cost the earth
November 10, 2023
Beer and brewing are highly dependent on the health of the planet for the ingredients we need to make it (shown here: hop pellets, malt and dried hops)
“It’s clear how excellently the brewery is being run. The current resourcefulness metrics are good and no big-ticket items were causing a lot of concern. With this strong foundation, I truly believe Brixton could become a craft industry leader in sustainability.” - Chris Lewington, Zevero
If there’s one beer trend that’s here to stay at Brixton, it’s brewing with maximum environmental sustainability. The environment sustains the production of beer – through water and the agricultural products we need, like malt and hops – so the sustainability of our production process is incredibly important to us. At Brixton, we’ve always been about doing the right thing by our customers, team and suppliers and now we’re stepping things up.
It makes good business sense too – brewing as efficiently as possible has the benefit of keeping the price of your pint down, because it uses less resources like water and energy.
This is our new CO2 Recovery Unit, which will reduce the amount of CO2 we produce and use, creating a nearly-closed loop of CO2 use.
We’re making it our mission to make green mainstream at Brixton, so it’s part of everything we do and comes through in all the beers we brew.
Measuring (and reducing) our carbon footprint:
Since June 2023 we’ve been working with the carbon accounting company Zevero to measure and reduce our carbon footprint and improve our wider environmental impact. Zevero brings together climate data and expertise from suppliers to end consumers to enable companies to reduce their impact. We’re doing this for transparency, effective action and accountability.
Investing in improved and innovative new brewing equipment. We recently installed and powered up a Dalum CO2 recovery unit, the first of its kind in London, which captures the CO2 produced in the brewing process and allows us to reuse it in other parts of the process. We estimate that this system will provide up to 70% of our CO2 needs meaning we buy and transport less CO2 and – crucially – also emit far less.
Organisation & leadership:
Investing in organisational change. Brixton has a Sustainability Action Group, with reps from all teams in the brewery, each taking action with the goal of making sustainability part of everything we do – from suppliers through to customers. We have appointed a lead Sustainability Brewer to oversee efficiency and innovation in brewing, and a Sustainability Manager leading the process and bringing it all together with top-level support and leadership.
Energy & transport:
Changing our delivery vans to electric – we’re halfway there on this - one of our two vans is now electric for local deliveries. Our electricity provider uses 100% renewable energy from solar and wind power. We’ve also honed our brewing process to be more energy efficient which means we’re using less energy for every litre of beer produced.
Waste reduction & packaging:
Investment in a new pallet wrapping machine has reduced our plastic waste significantly. Our webshop has gone plastic-free on all orders. All of our organic waste (mostly spent grain) goes to a biocollector for use as biofuel.
We love a collab greater than the sum of its parts. We’ve partnered with Oddbox on a food-waste fighting brew, and we’ve planted hops with Vauxhall City Farm for the ultimate ultra-local brew. We’ve released a green hop beer with hops we picked ourselves just down the road in Kent. Partnering with organisations – both other businesses and charities, is another way that we’re raising money for charities and exploring lower impact brews.
We’re at the beginning of our quest to improve the sustainability of our business in substantial and measurable ways, and to be open, transparent and honest about what we’re doing. Check our socials and our Community & Sustainability page for regular updates and annual reporting.
The BB Brewing Team celebrating (silly hats and all) the installation of the CO2 innovation. Recovery Unit. We are very proud to have a team highly motivated to improve brewing sustainability. Senior Brewer Francesco is our lead sustainability brewer working with the team on efficient water and energy use, waste reduction and innovation.