How Craft Beer is Changing the Brewing Business (And Making Summer Better)


How your summer craft beer relies on sustainability best practices to achieve quality.

[Editor's Note: This post originally appeared on Sealed Air's blog.]

As we head into the summer months for barbeques and picnics, the selection of specialty brewed ales are limitless. From large companies down to your local corner craft shop, brewers are mixing hops and rye with summer favorites like watermelon, strawberry, mango and peach. Our taste for variety and the demand for a wide selection of unique brews is growing.   

Did you know that the number of craft breweries in the U.S. has nearly doubled since 2013?

The industry is growing, not just in sales, but also in sustainable brewing and distribution practices. From distribution and global exportation, to generating the electricity needed to power multiple boiling and cooling periods, brewing beer can have big environmental impacts.

It’s no surprise that consumers and breweries alike are recognizing the need for sustainable, conscientious brewing, as well as the economic opportunities created by sustainable practices. We’re seeing more and more brewers work together to share knowledge and best practices that support  sustainable operations.

As a consumer, I know the taste and quality of the brew I choose is important. I'm also privileged to work for a company that takes this seriously and helps drive sustainable practices for many brewing companies small and large around the world. In North America at Sealed Air, we have regional "brewing champions” who help our craft brewing partners improve operational efficiency and maintain beverage safety, while also helping them stay true to flavor profiles.

Brewery Bottle Hygiene

Cleanliness is not only a requirement to the brewing process, but is a key part of the equation that produces a consistent, high-quality brewed product each and every time. It takes four liters of water to produce just one liter of beer, plus there’s a significant amount of wastewater containing solid wastes (spent grains, yeast and spent hops) weighing up to 50 pounds per barrel of beer.  With the right attention to cleaning processes, a brewer can see reduced energy and water usage.   

The best part of the equation is that today’s craft brewers are taking the lead and integrating sustainability into their business practices. With this drive, our favorite craft beer and flavors can continue to withstand the test of time. And, this is something beer geeks and connoisseurs everywhere can be thankful for!

I’ll be enjoying Highland’s Gaelic Ale this summer. Which craft brew will be your choice drink this summer?

As always, Sealed Air encourages you to drink responsibly.