The Land-Grant Brewing Company's Sun-Grant Series is inspired by the Sun-Grant Association, a group of Land-Grant Universities that research and develop sustainable and environmentally friendly bio-based energy alternatives.
In 2018, we expanded our zero waste programming to all of our large, outdoor events, more than doubling the amount of zero waste events from the year prior. While nobody likes to have to clean up after a party, we’ve been able to make sure that more than 69% of solid waste (over 1,100 lbs!) from our parties was diverted from the landfill to recycling and composting facilities around Columbus. While we’re proud of these efforts, some logistical mishaps and bad weather interfered in our attempts to reach our expressed goal of 95% diversion. However, by the end of the year we had neared that goal and we’re confident that we’ll be able to reach that goal throughout the 2019 event season!
While we experimented with zero waste programming at our large events in 2017, and expanded this program in 2018 (see above), we’ve also begun addressing food and organic waste in the taproom. Starting with Earth Day 2018, we have expanded our zero waste programming to include our taproom. Now, anytime you stop by our taproom in Franklinton, anything you receive from the bar or our food truck partners will be completely compostable, and the bulk of our taproom waste will be diverted from the landfill, composted, and repurposed as soil thanks to our partners at Innovative Organics Recycling. While ensuring that all waste in our taproom is properly sorted before being sent off, we’re excited to be one of the first
A huge thanks for this achievement has to go out to our partners and resident Barbeque Boys: Ray Ray’s Hog Pit. A fixture in our taproom and parking lot, the fine folks at Ray Ray’s helped us pilot, development, troubleshoot, and implement this program. The next time you’re in the taproom, make sure to give their truck a visit and thank them for their efforts to pursue sustainability.
FRANKLINTON COMMPOST PILOT
In addition to bringing compost to our taproom and large events, we were happy to partner with the Franklinton Board of Trade to offer a household compost drop-off service to the Franklinton neighborhood. While we sought to offer this service at no cost, we were unable to work with our partners to secure grant funding, so participating neighborhood members were able to participate in this program for $2.50 a month. We had about 25 of our neighbors participate and though we would have liked to have more, our ability to promote the hub and get more residents to sign up was limited by our need to brew delicious beer and manage our taproom, sales, events, and everything else that goes into a successful brewery. So, in 2019 the Franklinton Board of Trade has agreed to take on this program and manage it moving forward while we will operate as a partner and the host of the drop off location.
In 2017 we launched our Sun-Grant Series, a line of beers inspired by the Sun-Grant Association of colleges and universities that embody our commitment to sustainable practices and that showcase what a sustainably crafted beer would taste like.
The second brew in our Sun-Grant Series was called Eos, a Fossil Free Session Ale named for the Greek goddess of the dawn. It was an easy drinking Session Ale brewed with Fossil-Free malts from Rahr Malting Company, Ohio grown and kilned malt from Haus Malts, and Ohio-grown Columbus and Chinook hops from Ohio Hops in Sandusky, OH.
A light and easy drinking session ale, for every pint pour and six-pack sold, $2 went towards our internal Sun-Grant Fund. All proceeds from the 2018 Sun-Grant Fund were allocated for our roofing upgrade project.
Since 2017 we have been in pursuit of decarbonizing our sales and distribution fleets. Our initial research lead us to find a hole in the US market for distribution-sized EVs, such as vans and trucks. Learning this, we chose to focus on decarbonizing our sales fleets, some seven cars we wanted to swap out for electric vehicles. By the end of 2017, almost all 2018 Nissan Leafs were sold out in the US. While this is an excellent sign for the growing movement to decarbonize the US transportation system, it wasn’t great news for our internal efforts. Knowing this, we decided to wait and reevaluate this effort again in 2018.
While waiting to reevaluate, we underwent some changes as a company in terms of how we distribute our product. By the middle of 2018, we had finalized our partnership with Columbus Distributing Company. With CDC overtaking the local distribution network, and some of our sales staff transitioning over to them, our needs for electric vehicles changed to needing only three electric vehicles. However, by the time we found ourselves on the other side of this change, we weren’t able to find enough newly available 2019 Nissan Leafs.
Though frustrating, the timing has worked out so that we have been given a chance to develop a unique project alongside SMRT Columbus and the City of Columbus that would decarbonize our sales fleet and then some. Keep your eyes peeled to our social media in 2019 for updates!
Becoming a Smart Columbus Accelerator Partner
In our pursuit of decarbonization, we have become close partners with the wonderful team of people over at SMRT Columbus, the City of Columbus’ Smart Cities initiative focused on reinventing the element of transportation throughout the city in concert with similar Smart Cities initiatives around the world.
In 2018, Smart Columbus named Land-Grant an accelerator partner, a local business that promotes and pursues the use of electric vehicles and smart transportation operations.
What this means is that in addition to our efforts to decarbonize our sales fleet, we have also committed to several other Smart Columbus initiatives: join a coalition of other local Accelerator Partners to coordinate efforts; provide on site public EV charging; offer mobility benefits to our staff; host public events raising awareness of electric vehicles and alternative transit methods; continue our pursuit of EV adoption.
We’re very excited to have the opportunity to formalize and align our ongoing efforts with a global initiative like Smart Columbus, and believe that by 2019 we will have achieved our decarbonization goal. Until then, cheers for the long game.
One of the most powerful forces that helped us create our own sustainability initiatives was the work conducted by the Brewers Association’s Sustainability Committee to create and provide resources, information, and case studies. Without this information, it would have taken us a much longer time to launch our sustainability initiatives. So when the opportunity arose to launch a statewide sustainability committee, we jumped at it.
Alongside our friends at Little Fish Brewing in Athens, OH, Land-Grant was proud to co-found and launch the Ohio Craft Beer Association’s Sustainability Committee. Consisting of Ohio breweries and under the guidance of the OCBA’s Executive Committee, the Ohio Sustainability Committee has several ongoing goals:
Promote and increase engagement and use of the BA’s Benchmarking Tools and Sustainability Manuals.
- MITIGATION OF LIFE CYCLE IMPACT
- Identify, benchmark, and share sustainability related best practices that are applicable to Ohio breweries of all sizes.
- Identify and disseminate sustainability business and brewing practices, tools, and resources that are specific to Ohio breweries.
- Form partnerships between the Ohio Craft Beer Community and state NGOs and Governmental Agencies to promote environmentalism and sustainability.
- The essence of beer is community, and we’re honored to have the opportunity to lead and support our communities efforts to create a better and more sustainable world through our work with the OCBA Sustainability Committee.
These are some first steps towards effectively mitigating the impact of our beers’ lifecycle. While we’re focusing first on what happens in and around our building, and where our waste goes from here, our next steps will be to tackle the impact of our beer more heavily up and downstream from the brewery. Stay tuned for new initiatives on this page as we roll them out.