Breweries are Working to Make Super Bowl Sunday Greener

Recycling Brewery Waste into Renewable Energy
Feb 9, 2024 5:05 PM ET

BOSTON, February 9, 2024 /3BL/ - Breweries across the United States are stepping up to help fight climate change, and Super Bowl weekend is no different. Super Bowl Sunday is not just a day for football in America or betting on if Taylor Swift will make the game from her sold out shows in Tokyo; it’s one of the days that Americans consume the most beer - approximately 325 million gallons. That’s a lot of beer for any one of Ms. Taylor’s eras.

Yet, all that beer creates a lot of waste that gets sent to landfills or dumped down the drain, but shake it off, because there’s a better solution. Breweries are thinking more and more about what they can do to make a change to be sustainable, reduce their CO2 emissions, and dispose of their spent waste in a way that is good for the environment and keeps that waste out of our landfills and waterways.

Vanguard Renewables®, a leader in food and beverage materials management, is working with large and small breweries across the United States to recycle their organic materials via Farm Powered® anaerobic digestion to create renewable natural gas that powers communities, businesses, and homes.

“We work with some of the Country’s largest breweries as well as many of the best-known micro-breweries to recycle their waste - like the spent grains and liquids that remain following the brewing process,” said John Hanselman, Chief Strategy Officer, of Vanguard Renewables. “The demand for beer on this singular weekend is not new; and we’re excited to provide brewers with a sustainable, circular solution to recycle their organic materials.”

The organic materials from partner breweries is collected and brought to one of Vanguard’s farm-based anaerobic digestion facilities where t's combined in a state-of-the-art digester tank with dairy manure and converted into renewable energy. The waste supplied by brewery partners not only helps to produce renewable natural gas, but the byproducts of the anaerobic digestion process including high-quality bedding for farm animals and a nearly odorless liquid fertilizer for the farm help sustain the farm and support regenerative agriculture. Vanguard can also process expired beer in cans and kegs that would have previously been sent to landfills or incineration.

“We pride ourselves on being as sustainable as possible, even from the design of our brewery. Every piece of equipment is the highest energy efficient rating we could get, and we also plan our brewing process to run efficiently to help our energy consumption. Additionally, we don’t just recycle our organic waste, but we also recycle our Pak Tech beer toppers, stated Dan Sartwell, Head of Brewing Operations at Black Flannel Brewing and Distilling Company in Vermont. “When we had to decide on how we were going to dispose of our waste - the decision to partner with Vanguard to make renewable energy just made sense. It can be expensive to sidestream your waste, but it’s a lot cheaper than having that waste ruin your septic system or end up in our waterways and landfills."

In New England, Vanguard Renewables works with multiple brewers including Tree House Brewing Company, Berkshire Brewing Company, Shacksbury Cider, and Wachusett Brewing Company to recycle their organic materials. By collecting the brewer’s spent grains and other byproducts, Vanguard Renewables collaborates with their partners to help reduce their CO2 emissions and help keep the family farmers in business.

“Working with Vanguard has enabled us to abide by our ethos of environmental responsibility while bringing a benefit to local farmers - it was a no-brainer for us to work with them,” stated Nate Lanier, the Co-founder and Head Brewer of Tree House Brewing Company, with several locations in MA and CT. "Vanguard is passionate about what they do, and it shows.”

The Brewers Association For Small and Independent Craft Brewers noted that in 2022 the United States had nearly 10,000 breweries. That’s a lot of waste being created. Vanguard Renewables’ brewery partners are not just doing good for the environment, but they are helping the region's family farmers save money on fertilizers, energy, and bedding. It’s a win for all.

Brewers doing good and making sustainability a priorityon Super Bowl Sunday and every day will be raising a glass to you. And just like Hellmann’s, a Unilever brand and a founding member of Vanguard’s Farm Powered Strategic Alliance, Vanguard Renewables is going to celebrate #SickOfFoodWasteDay on Monday after the big game, because reducing food waste needs to be a priority and recycling what can’t be reduced or eaten into renewable energy turns what was once considered waste into a resource for good.

About Vanguard Renewables 
Vanguard Renewables, based in Weston, Massachusetts, is a national leader in developing food and dairy waste-to-renewable energy projects. The Company owns and operates on-farm anaerobic digester facilities in the northeast and currently operates manure-only digesters in the south and west for Dominion Energy. Vanguard Renewables plans to expand nationwide to more than 150 anaerobic digestion facilities by 2026. Vanguard Renewables is committed to advancing decarbonization by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from farms and food waste, generating renewable energy, and supporting regenerative agriculture on partner farms via Farm Powered® anaerobic digestion. Vanguard Renewables is a portfolio company of BlackRock Real Assets. To learn more visit