Steam Whistle Brewing, Going Green

The following is excerpted and edited from a press release by Steam Whistle Brewery in Toronto, which I spotted on the Great Canadian Pubs and Beer blog.

“Inspired to reduce our footprint on this earth, Steam Whistle Brewing continues the tradition of considering renewable resources in our building maintenance and beer production.

Deep Lake Water Cooling
Rather than using conventional air conditioners that rely on mechanical chillers using harmful CFC refrigerants and enormous amounts of energy, Steam Whistle Brewing has opted to use Enwave’s Deep Lake Water Cooling, a smart energy that will lead Toronto towards a sustainable future. Through three intake pipes 83 meters below the surface of Lake Ontario, Enwave draws water from a permanent layer of icy cold (4 degrees Celsius) water. This naturally chilled water make’s its way to the John Street Pumping Station where heat exchangers facilitate the energy transfer between the icy-cold lake water and the Enwave closed-loop chilled water supply. This cold energy cools our brewery (the first stop on the line) using only the coldness from the lake water, not the actual water.

Steam Whistle Truck

Benefits of this Cooling System:

  • Uses 90% less energy than conventional air conditioners
  • Eliminates demand for 61 megawatts (I presume they mean megawatt hours, not megawatts) from Ontario’s electricity grid, the equivalent of the energy needed to supply 6,800 homes annually
  • Prevents 79,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions, equivalent to taking over 15,800 cars off the road
  • Reduces ozone-depleting refrigerants, noise, pollution and humidity generated by chiller, fans and cooling towers of conventional air conditioners

Steam Heat
In our manufacturing and building climate control systems, Steam Whistle uses steam, the most ecologically efficient form of heat energy. Better yet, we get our steam from Enwave’s Centralized Steam Plant eliminating the need for Steam Whistle to have its own boiler on site. We use steam heat to boil water in brewing, to wash our beer bottles, in heating our building, and of course to sound-off our functioning steam whistles!

EcoLogo100% Green Electricity
Steam Whistle is an early adopter of Bullfrog Power, the first 100% green, carbon-free electricity retailer in Ontario. Bullfrog sources power exclusively from wind and low-impact hydro generators who meet or exceed the Environmental Choice EcoLogo standard for renewable electricity. Wind power is among the cleanest sources of energy available, producing no emissions that contribute to air pollution or greenhouse gases. EcoLogo-certified low-impact water power must meet a range of environmental criteria including the protection of indigenous species and local habitat, and measures to minimize fish mortality and to preserve fish migration patterns.

Reduce – Reuse – Recycle
We continue to look for environmentally friendly products and programs to support Green Manufacturing.

  • We use only bio-diesel in our fleet of delivery vehicles.
  • The ‘spent’ grain from our brewing process is reused as farmer’s feed (unless they’re feeding farmers spent grain I assume they mean for animal feed!).
  • Our green glass bottles have 30% more glass than industry brown bottles so are built to last for up to 35 uses, twice as long as the industry bottle.
  • Our painted label reduces to zero the amount of glue and paper that would enter our effluent if paper labels were washed off our bottles with each refilling.
  • All packaging materials (cardboard, shrink-wrap, broken glass) are collected for recycling from our operations.
  • We use Biodegradable cups to serve our draught beer at outdoor events.

Wow, all this, and they make beer too. I can’t wait to visit!


5 Responses to Steam Whistle Brewing, Going Green

  1. Tim O'Brien says:

    This is a great place to visit. It’s in an old round house, that’s a place where they fixed trains, hence the Steam Whistle name. After the tour you go to the tasting room where you get small sampler glasses of free beer. You can have as many as you want.

    their motto is “reduce, reuse, recycle.

  2. beeractivist says:

    I thought the name of this place sounded familiar. You must have told me that you visited it. Got any pics?

  3. Tim O'Brien says:

    no pics, it was back the analog photo days. I believe we were there in summer of 2001.

  4. D. Irwin says:

    Great pilsner too — they believe in brewing one beer, and doing it right. It’s a bit pricey, but many of us up here consider it our ‘treat beer’.

  5. beeractivist says:

    D. Irwin – I’ll have to meet you there for a beer some day whenever I manage to get up there for a beer trip.


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