Our Brewing Efficiencies
We’ve put much thought into our brewery approach, setup, and the equipment therein. First, we are human and we use resources to make consumable products, in this case really local craft beer. We don’t need to be slobs about it though; we’ve tried to use local companies to make the equipment and local people to install the equipment, because the larger environment is letting us use her space temporarily (think geological scale of time here).
In order to minimize our footprint in our local Carolinian Forests, we offer what we call an ecological loop system. You see, in towns where municipal water and sewer is involved lots of waste can occur in the brew process, as water magically comes from taps and disappears through drains. As forward thinkers emerge, or the simple economy of efficiency starts to pay, breweries are developing closed-loop systems where they closely monitor water and energy use and make attempts to recapture it wherever they can. We on the other hand have a closed loop system that includes the environment in that loop – the ecological one. We take water from our water table to make our beers. This water isn’t new, it’s been recycled for millennia, remember your water cycle diagram from grade six? Charlotteville Brewing Company is no exception, anything that doesn’t leave the brewery in your stomachs, bladders, growlers, or kegs is returned to the immediate area. We have our own “green” water recapture system from the brewery. This water is neutralized, allowed to settle in tanks, and then returned to the hop field to nourish the next crop.
There are grains in brewing, they provide the carbohydrates (sugars) that will feed the yeast who then impart different tastes and alcohol levels to our beers. Once used, many brewers treat the “spent” grains as waste. Not us, we compost this steamy mass. Worms, bugs, and nature’s rot turns this once hard substance into deep dark humus, the infant equivalent of topsoil. Where do you think it goes, yes, right back on the hops or into the garden whose treats you might sup upon in the tasting shed over a crafty drink.
As we progress down our farm plan, we may include a solar array, a biomass digester, or even a flux capacitor to help us reduce the footprints of our brewing process. We don’t do this because it’s easy, we do this for the future occupants of Norfolk County’s fertile lands. For now however, we believe you can enjoy our hyper-local products that neither come from afar nor do they travel off the land that produced them. A true 360° approach for a farm brewery. We hope you agree; you can taste the difference ecology makes.