Stories: materials & construction

bang brewing

THEIR GOAL: BIGGEST IMPACT. SMALLEST FOOTPRINT.

"Bang Brewing's sustainability is built into the fabric of our business, from the construction of our brewery to the high-quality organic ingredients."

Stats taken from BangBrewing.com

STATS ON THE BIN BUILD

  • Pre-fab construction

  • Flex-use design for a smaller footprint

  • Reclaimed/reused materials

  • US manufactured brew system designed to minimize water use

  • High-efficiency boiler

  • High-efficiency chillers

  • Energy Star® Appliances

  • Radiant in-floor heat

  • LED lights

  • Low and no VOC paints

  • Marmoleum loft floor

  • Restroom equipped with dual-flush toilet and hand dryer

  • 100% powered by wind via Xcel Windsource®

  • Extensive rain gardens to mitigate stormwater runoff

  • Native prairie and wildflower pollinator friendly beer garden

  • Permeable deck/drive and garden paths

  • Saint Paul’s first on-street bike parking corral (!)

PLANS FOR MORE PLANTING

"We are currently working on plans to develop the adjacent parcel we purchased nearly two years ago - we extended the rain garden in December and it will be planted in May with many of the same native perennials as well as some trees! We’re not yet sure when we’ll begin redevelopment of the pole barn though hope it’s within the next year. We will do so with the same focus on low impact, efficiency and sustainability.“

DAY-TO-DAY

  • Paperless receipts since opening day 2013

  • 100% of spent grains, hops and yeast donated to local farmer

  • On-site recycling and compost programs with a zero-waste goal

  • Eco Kegs that use up to 36% less metal per keg than standard steel kegs

  • Pre-fab, FSC certified, customized tap handles by Epicurean

  • Delivery vehicle hand painted without use of vinyl

  • CSA drop site partner for Driftless Organics Farm

  • Zero-waste events with Eureka Recycling

  • If it doesn’t stack, it’s on wheels!

RETURNABLE BOTTLE PACKAGING

"We have packaged beer to go in returnable/reusable growler bottles since our open in 2013 and expanded our packaging in 2016 to include 750ml returnable bottles for both taproom and retail. Reusable glass bottles are the most sustainable method of packaging and removes the concern of BPA lining currently associated with cans. Not only are our bottles BPA free, our growler caps and crown caps are produced without the use of BPA or PVC and our labels are letterpressed on FSC certified paper stock with environmentally friendly ink."

INGREDIENTS

All Bang Brewing beers are crafted with certified organic malts, grains, hops and yeast. The only ingredients they use that are not certified organic include: 

ORGANIC BREWERS ALLIANCE

"Sourcing organic ingredients has been the biggest challenge and most rewarding success. The relationships  established with small farmers and the audience we've managed to secure with larger producers and brokers has given them access to a wider range of ingredients each year. We are now working to organize an Organic Brewers Alliance. Our goal is to map every brewery worldwide that is brewing organic and to establish a network of brewers that will further prove demand and support for sustainable and regenerative farming. We want to collectively share our resources, connect our various producers, and to lay the groundwork for cooperative purchasing where possible. Ultimately we hope to make it easier for other brewers and producers that are interested in organics to opt in."

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the good acre

The mission of the Good Acre is to connect and strengthen farmers, food makers, and communities through good food. While supporting local food production is environmentally-conscious in itself, the Good Acre was created to be a benchmark of sustainability for food hubs across Minnesota, from its business model to its building and landscaping.

 

Some quick details: The site was built on a wetland and landscaped with rain gardens and edible perennials. The parking lot was made to conserve and maintain water. The building itself is GAP certified and certified organic. They have three hoop houses to show people how to grow food. They have bought vehicles with low emission rates. 

 

Beyond that, there is funding set out for even more: solar panels, beehives, a green roof; but as the idealistic operation met the current reality, they pushed that funding back into the local community instead. One prominent example of this has been their reaction to the past year’s health and justice crises. At the start of the pandemic, The Good Acre saw market opportunities for farmers disappear overnight. With the help of partnering organizations, they created a program (LEAFF) that purchases fresh produce from BIPOC farmers and donates it to hunger relief organizations throughout the Twin Cities Metro area. They saw the immediate need for hunger relief and donated the produce back to those in need.

 

The Good Acre is also a big supporter of farm to school efforts. They sell wholesale produce to area K-12 schools, provide culinary training to school nutrition service teams, and offer a vocational culinary training program for those looking for careers as school chefs.

 

The Good Acre works with a network of over 50 small family farmers. While some of the farmers they work with are Certified Organic, the certification process, the record-keeping, and investments in on-farm infrastructure is a huge barrier for many growers, especially those who do not own their land. By offering one-on-one support and technical assistance, The Good Acre ensures that regardless of certification status, the growers they work with are using sustainable growing methods and are being responsible stewards of the land, air, and water around their farms. The Good Acre still has excellent standards and works with highly thoughtful businesses, but they have learned that standards aren’t as important as getting people involved.