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Sustainability at Bell's: Celebrating Earth Day every day
We kicked off Earth Week on Monday with a look at how we approach sustainability here at Bell’s. We have also shared some of the many ways in which we practice this philosophy via our social media sites throughout the week.
To celebrate Earth Day, here is a more comprehensive look. For more information on all of our sustainability efforts, please visit our Sustainability page.
Land + Agriculture
Our farm in Shepherd, Michigan uses no-till farming practices that support surrounding ecosystems by minimizing erosion and the use of water-contaminating fertilizers, while improving soil quality. Barley grown at our farm is used for Bell's seasonals Christmas Ale along with Michigan-grown hops.
Harvest Ale: The malt comes from barley grown in Michigan specifically for Bell’s, much of it also comes from our own farm near Shepherd, while the whole-cone hops were plucked from bines across Michigan.
What do we do with the approximately 50,000 pounds of spent grain produced daily from our brewing processes? A local farmer picks it up twice a day and uses it to feed his dairy cows.
We recycle all cardboard, paper, stretch wrap, green plastic banding, keg caps, wood, electronics, batteries, copper, stainless steel and black iron from our production process.
We consistently monitor water use with the goal of decreasing water intensity. Sub-meters track water use in the brewhouse, cellar and on both the bottling and kegging lines. Engineering and procedural changes have also helped reduce water usage.
A new Filler Vacuum Pump design reduced water that goes to drain from 15 gallons per minute to 2 gpm, saving about 20 million pints of water annually on our filling operation.
Energy + Air
A modular, extensive sedum green roof above our conditioning warehouse increases insulation efficiency and extends the life of a waterproofing membrane.
Five “Big Ass Fans” reduce the need for air conditioning and heating at our Production Facility and Logistics Center (photo at right).
An 85-ton geothermal field, roughly the size of half a football field, controls the temperature for our entire production facility.
Installation of a new 400 horsepower process boiler with an 84-percent overall efficiency rating will allow us to conserve and recycle energy for steam production. Steam is used for all process heating, mashing, boiling, keg cleaning and sterilization and more.
Light tubes in our production facility, original brewery, corporate office and logistics center offer daylight harvesting and occupancy controls.
Sponsorships + Wellness + Community
Our involvement in the community we sell our beer in is very important to us. The Iceman Cometh Challenge in Traverse City, the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race and The Gilmore International Keyboard Festival are just a few examples of events we sponsor. We also donate to and sponsor other organizations as well including Glowing Embers Girl Scout Council, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, the Comstock Community Center, K’Aces Disc Golf Club and many others.
Our employees also participate in events that give back and promote wellness, including bike workshops like the one pictured above. Just yesterday, Bell’s employees participated in the Walk about Talk about Autism fundraiser in Portage. Look for them in the Kalamazoo Humane Society Dog Walk May 5 in Vicksburg and the Kalamazoo 2012 Walk to Cure Diabetes (just to name a few).
With the Adopt a Highway program, employees of Bell’s Brewery pick up roughly 50 bags of trash along M-96 three times a year (this past Friday being the most recent). To date, our employees have picked up more than 450 bags since Bell’s started sponsoring this program in Comstock.
Pub (Eccentric Café)
Greenware cups, used at Bell's Eccentric Cafe and manufactured in Kalamazoo by Fabri-Kal, are made from polylactic acid, a plant starch-based polymer resin. The cups are composted with other yard waste from the city of Kalamazoo.
The General Store (online and in downtown Kalamazoo) offers a large selection of local products – everything from homebrewing equipment to soap made with Bell’s beer. The Barley Crusher (Allenton), The Brew Hauler (Plainwell) and StirStarter (southwest Michigan) are just a few examples.
We compost food waste from the Eccentric Café’s kitchen with sawdust from carpentry contractors and spent grain from our original brewery in downtown Kalamazoo.
Celebrating the Earth: Join us in raising a glass to the environment
Earth Day reminds us that we no longer need to rely solely on environmental movements to ensure an abundant future for ourselves and our children.
There is much work to be done, and each one of us can play a role in living and working more sustainably not just once a year, but every day.
Producing the highest quality beer is our core focus here at Bell's Brewery. To help maintain this, we are constantly identifying, evaluating and refining our approach to sustainability.
We know that only a healthy environment will yield the best ingredients. Only the safest and happiest community will work to produce and enjoy our beer. And only a responsible and growing business will continue to innovate and make the best tasting, craft-quality suds.
We are celebrating Earth Day by sharing a few of the many ways in which Bell's approaches sustainability here and on our social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram) throughout the week. Of course, more information can always be found here.
Join us in raising a glass to the Earth, may she always yield good beer and healthy patrons!
Photo caption: Solar light tubes are located in many of our buildings including our original brewery in Kalamazoo and production facility in Comstock.
Bell's beer event roundup: Tap takeover in Ann Arbor, rare beers and The Big Tap In Festival
Here is a look at Bell’s beer events this week in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio.
Tap takeover in Ann Arbor
Conor O’Neill’s in Ann Arbor will feature Oberon, Porter, Kalamazoo Stout, Best Brown Ale, Hell Hath No Fury, Sparkling Ale, a firkin of Two Hearted (tapped at 5:30 p.m.), Debs' Red (tapped at 6.30 p.m.) and the rare and elusive Black Note (tapped at 7:45 p.m.). There will also be "Minute To Win It" inspired pub games and prizes. Call 734-665-2968 for more information.
The Bavarian Lodge in Lisle will tap some rare, seasonal, aged and sought after Bell’s beers starting at 4 p.m. The tap list includes Hopslam (6 p.m. tapping), The Oracle, Batch 10,000 and more. Call 630-241-4701 for more information.
The Big Tap In Festival, Youngstown
Bell's Brewery will be at this craft beer festival between Cleveland and Pittsburgh pouring Amber Ale, Expedition Stout, Hell Hath No Fury … Ale, Java Stout and Lager Beer. For tickets and more information, visit www.bigtapin.com.
Join us for Pittsburgh Beer Week, Bell’s Night in Bismarck, a beer dinner at Gun Lake Casino in Wayland (Michigan) and more. Take a look at our full calendar here.