At Wicklow Wolf Brewing Company our main goal is to make beer the best way possible. Running a sustainable brewery and business is a foundation stone to ensure we achieve this goal.
Being a sustainably run brewery helps us in several ways:
- We have control from field to glass, ensuring locally sourced and the best raw materials are used.
- It forces us to think outside the box to find ways to make beer in better ways.
- It makes us sit up and be responsible for what waste we are producing and the environmental impacts.
- It helps us foster better relationships not only with our suppliers with also with our consumers.
In 2017 we began to monitor our electricity usage and peak times. So we can begin to understand how, where and when we use most of our energy. We are also installing timers to ensure we only use energy when it’s needed.
Over the last few months we have become very conscious of the amount and type of waste we produce at the brewery. To ensure the least amount of waste goes to the land fill we are changing our waste management provider to ensure complete segregation of waste and an increase in recycling.
All spent grain is given back to our farm for composting and all trub is donated to local charities for planting and fertilisers.
As brewing requires quiet a lot of water in the process, about 5Hl of water for every 1Hl of beer, we have begun to monitor our rinse waters post tank cleaning. The procedure was to routinely rinse the tanks with three x 50L rinses and then test the water on the last rinse to ensure it is clear of cleaning materials. Now we test each rinse so if the water is clear after the first rinse, you can save 100L of rinse water. By doing this there is the potential to save 10,000l of water a year.
We have recently changed our fermentation practises to use the CO2 naturally produced in the brewing process to carbonate our finished product.
We now close our fermenters so the CO2 does not get released into the atmosphere instead it gets forced back into the beer, carbonating the finished product and reducing the CO2 emitted and used in the brewery.
We are fortunate here at Wicklow Wolf Brewery that we also own our own hop farm. We have 2 acres of viable hop farming land sown in Roundwood in Wicklow. These hops are harvested and used in a special all Irish brew each year. The hop farm is also home to 5 working bee hives. As well as the hop farm, we also donate all our trub to the local gardening scheme for planting and fertilising.
Each year we invite students to come up to the hop farm to help seed and harvest and learn an emerging farming technique. We also sponsor several local community fund raisers.
Health and Nutrition
We make all our beers with all malt and using only the finest raw materials, that are locally sourced where possible. We offer most of our products at moderate alcohol levels and this year we introduced a lower alcohol alternative. We are also introducing a gluten free offering.
- Commitment to source 80% of our direct raw materials from suppliers with recognised sustainability certifications by 2021
- Target a 10% reduction in energy per unit output in the next five years.
- Reduction of Landfill Waste by 50% over the lifetime of the plan
- Reduce the amount of rinse water we use per hL of beer produced by 20%
- Each full-time staff member is given a day of leave a year to volunteer for a charity.
- Ensure that up to 10% of our Limited’s and Seasonal releases each year are a considered social health option; either a lower alc. or Gluten Free alternative.