New ‘Green’ Brewery in Beaufort, South Carolina

Brewer’s BrewingSeems like everyone’s catching the green train these days! I can hardly keep up with all the ‘green’ beer news anymore. That’s a good thing, although it does raise the question of just what ‘green’ really means and who, if anyone, is defining it.

Brewer’s Brewing, a new brewpub in Beaufort, South Carolina has a link on their homepage labeled “Brewer’s Is Green.” Quoting directly from the web page, here’s a run down of the green efforts enumerated therein. Let’s see what they are calling green.

Concrete is 100% green and we will be using it for our main bar and the bathrooms, we threw in oyster shells and recycled glass in the mix.

The phrasing here is confusing. I’m not sure if they are claiming that concrete, in general, is 100% green or if the concrete they are using is green. Presumably it’s the latter since conventional concrete is by no means inherently green. Regardless, the term “100% green” is troublesome since it is a such a vague claim. It’s cool that they integrated “recycled” glass in it but I think they mean “reused” glass, because recycling glass would be silly if all they were doing was using it as a filler in concrete. The oyster shells are an appropriate touch since presumably they originate from the nearby coast.

Dakota Burl is a unique bio-based material, which exhibits the beauty and elegance of traditional burled woods. The material is created from agricutural fiber and sunflower hulls, making this a beautiful environmental hardwood. This product is being used for all our dining tables.

Sounds cool. Ag waste products in general are a good for “waste-cycling,” i.e. turning waste byproducts into new marketable products especially when they are replacing what might have otherwise been petroleum-based products such as plastic tables. Furthermore, the Dakota Burl website claims the product has zero VOC emissions.

All of our bulbs through out the restaurant will use (cfl’s) compact flourescents lights and will al be run through a Lutron dimming system.

That’s great. What’s even better is that a claim like this will be irrelevant in a few years. Last December, President Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 setting new efficiency standards for electric lights, effectively mandating the phaseout of incandescent light bulbs in the US beginning in 2012.

Green SureAny surface that has paint on it will be coated with Sherman Williams Harmony Sure Green paint which has no odor and no (voc) volatile organic compounds.

Cool. Low and no VOC paints should really be standard for virgin paint. This benefits paint workers, employees, and customers by improving the indoor air quality of the brewpub, so folks can stick their nose in the glass and just smell beer instead of nasty indoor air pollution. I’d rather get a headache from having one too many than from huffing VOCs any day.

One no flush urinal from Kohler will be used in the mens bathroom. This unit alone will save 40,000 gallons a year.

It may sound funny but these new waterless urinals are going to be all the rage very soon. Mark my words. There is huge interest in the institutional purchasing sector for these things. I had my first waterless urinal sighting just a couple months ago in Millheim, PA at the new Elk Creek Cafe and Aleworks.

The worlds most efficient water heater will be installed for the whole brewpub. This unit is made from A.O Smith and is has a rating of 94% efficiency.

I’m guessing it must be this one. But it looks like there is even a 99% efficient water heater available out there. Not sure if they have different kinds of sizes or performance issues.

All three Toilets will have a High Efficiency Toilet valve from Sloan Valve. Push the handle up for liquid waste and it will flush with 1.1 gallons and push down for solid waste for a flush that uses 1.6 gallons. The handle is also coated with an antimicrobial agent that protects against the transfer of germs.

I’ve seen these in other countries but they haven’t really caught on yet in the U.S. I think people are confused about how to use them. Hopefully there will be a little sign near the toilet showing people how to use the toggle on the handle.

Bath room partitions are made from 100% recycled plastic from psisc out of Columbia SC.

Neat, they are even supporting a South Carolina-based business with this option. PSISC stands for Partition Systems Incorporated of South Carolina. I’ll just try to ignore the image on the company homepage depicting two young girls in a bathroom dressed like cheerleaders. Um, that’s really just kind of creepy.

All in all, these efforts seem quite worthy and I’m guessing they’ve made other environmentally preferable choices that haven’t made it onto their ‘green’ web page yet. For example, their flagship beer, Paddler’s Pale Ale, is organic. I wish these guys were open last summer when my family visited the beach in South Carolina. Guess I have something to look forward to if we go back this year!

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14 Responses to New ‘Green’ Brewery in Beaufort, South Carolina

  1. The problem with the Sloan dual flush valves is that most people use their foot to flush a commercial toilet. Would you want to flush it with your hand after you know someone has used their foot?

    Also, these valves must be installed on new bowls designed to operate on less water. If you install them on an older bowl, likely you will have to flush twice.

  2. satjiwan says:

    two comments. (having recently done green home renovations and starting to consult in this area – click my name to see website link)

    1. I have two dual flush toilets (both have two buttons on top so it’s pretty obvious which to use and harder to operate with your foot). And they perform well often using the small flush for all wastes.

    2. On a local green building discussion group we talked about truly green paints. (yes, mainstream brands that are greener are better and conventional paints, but there are serious shades of green).

    here’s our notes:
    Some PAINT (interior) guidance – a very accessible do it yourself project, or a
    task to do with just about any other home improvement.

    Background info:
    – standard paints have lots of toxic chemicals in them
    – even mainstream “green” paints labeled as low/no-VOC, aren’t very green
    – The EPA regulates VOCs (volatile organic compounds) as they relate to
    smog formation, not human health impacts. So even though paints can get a
    low/no-VOC rating, there’s a set of 55 other chemicals often found in paint that
    are exempt from the EPA regulations.
    – So you need to look for TRUE low/no-VOC products. Some paint companies
    that provide this are (available at local green stores):
    o AFM Safecoat
    o American Pride – tests really well for durability
    o Yolo – good/expensive
    o Bioshield
    – Quality of very green paints is usually very good. Sometimes it takes
    more effort and paint to put them on (at least 2 coats), but that’s often true
    of any paints that are going to stay on well and last. Sometimes need to make
    sure brand works in a spray gun, if you or your painter uses that.

  3. satjiwan says:

    oh, and i think it’s great all the steps they’ve taken. a great model and hopefully it’s more than just a green building. with a commercial facility it’s usually MOST important to green the operations or the product. i.e. a green car dealership building that sells hummers isn’t very green. glad to see their flagship product is organic and would love to hear they have neat waste heat and waste brewing ingredients in some kind of closed loop, reuse program. (better link to my renovation project on my name in this post)

  4. Kristen says:

    This brewpub sounds really cool, I wish this was closer to SF. The picture of the young girls as cheerleaders on that bathroom partition website IS creepy. What’s up with that? Thank you for breaking this down for us and looking into the products they’re using.

  5. beeractivist says:

    Kurt – I’ve heard about the foot-flushing problem with toilets that have a low side mounted handle like this one. That does seem like an issue.

    SJ – thanks for all the info.

    Kristen – my pleasure. Hope it was useful!

    Cheers,
    Chris

  6. Chris,

    Great analysis and insightful break down of what’s really green, and what’s just for show.

    But the PSISC…young ain’t the word! That’s really f***ed up. What are they trying to say?

  7. beeractivist says:

    Keith,

    I’m sure that photo was of innocent intentions, probably the daughters of the company founder wearing the uniforms of his favorite sports team. But really, what was he thinking?

    Similarly, with the touting of green products, I find that often people think they are choosing the greenest things in the world and are really trying to share the good things they are doing. But unfortunately people are often mistaken about the real environmental costs and benefits of various product choices. It takes a complicated lifecycle analysis to determine the best choice and the tradeoffs between, say, glass bottles and aluminum cans are not always clear. Fortunately, certain generalizations can be made that apply in many cases and that’s where I spend my energy. If youre interested in learning more, check out the website of my organization: http://www.ResponsiblePurchasing.org.

    Cheers,
    Chris

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