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Solar-powered beer comes to Michigan

beer from arbor brewing

Seen that ad for GE turbines in which a bar full of working class customers raises their glasses to “the guys that make the power that makes the beer?” Those same beer drinkers should be ecstatic, then, at news out of Michigan involving a brewery that makes its own power (and probably better beer than the Budweiser mentioned in the ad – and, yes, I am a St. Louisan saying that!).

Ann Arbor-based Arbor Brewing Company is in the midst of a big renovation at its Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti that will make it the state’s first solar-powered brewer. When completed at the end of the month, the solar array will provide all of the building’s hot water, and up to 15% of its electricity. More importantly, perhaps, for owners Matt and Renee Greff: the solar array will cut the brewery’s electric bills in half. That’s all in Michigan – just imagine what a similar set-up in Arizona would do.

Of course, Arbor Brewing isn’t the first beer company to adopt renewable energy. If you’re looking for a greener cold one this Summer, consider beers from New Belgium (wind powered), Sierra Nevada (solar, fuel cells, and biofuels) or Pisgah Brewing Company (all certified organic). And lots of smaller breweries have sustainability programs: check out Triplepundit’s green beer series for some of the most thorough information on the topic.

Got a favorite beer that’s brewed more sustainably? Make the pitch for it in the comments.

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