Brewing beer requires large amounts of energy, agricultural ingredients, packaging material, water, and labor all to be fermented and poured in a single glass. Since the beginning, we’ve wanted to be a brewery that brews with championship integrity. When we opened, our skeleton crew wasn’t able to pursue sustainability while also brewing, kegging, canning, delivering, bartending, and getting ourselves off the ground. Three years later and thirty-plus employees larger, we’ve been able to pursue sustainable brewing at last.
In 2017 we launched Sun-Grant, our formal Sustainability Program that aims to organize, measure, manage, and pursue our various environmental and communal initiatives. These initiatives are housed in the four pillars of the Sun-Grant Program:
- MITIGATION OF LIFE CYCLE IMPACT
- REDUCTION OF CARBON FOOTPRINT
- WATER STEWARDSHIP
- DEEP COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS
These pillars, and the initiatives within them, reflect the common themes that we seek to address in our sustainability program: reduction of greenhouse gases, closing loops, minimizing waste, decreasing our water use intensity, diverting brewing byproduct from our wastewater, lowering the impact of our supply chain, and partnering with different farmers, environmental organizations, and community groups throughout Columbus and Ohio to make a healthier, better, cleaner world.
Our Sun-Grant program’s first year was focused on taking a holistic approach, with the aim of making progress and creating programs within each of the four pillars. Because of this, we were able to begin to mitigate every bit of our environmental impact, but as a Jack-of-All-Trades, Master-of-None.
We also launched our first Sun-Grant beer: Ra, a Fossil-Free Honey Blonde Ale, made with Ohio-grown Cascade hops, Ohio amber honey, and Rahr Malt’s fossil-free malts. Ra is the first in our Sun-Grant Series, and sales from each pour and six-pack went into our Sun-Grant Fund (more on that later).
Part of our mission here at Land-Grant is to make sure that we are ensuring Long Term Community Sustainability here in our neighborhood and beyond. You help us do this every day by patronizing our taproom and buying delicious beer out at your favorite shops and bars. This year, Land-Grant donated over 1% of our gross revenue to local area initiatives under the tiers of Education, Sustainability and Community Building, continuing our commitment to responsibly steward our resources for the greater good. We were able to donate a little under $50,000 in 2017.
Within this report you’ll see some examples of what programs we created, what worked, what didn’t work, and what we’re going to do about it. As always, we couldn’t do this without the continued support of our patrons, customers, and the Columbus community. Raise a glass to yourselves and read on to learn more.