Myths Debunked: Beer and Your Health

beer-healthyMy dad is an avid cyclist, and his favorite route is through Golden, Colorado where he can grab a pint after an exhausting ride. He swears the beer helps his muscles recover, but I questioned his motives. I accused him of trying to make excuses, but it turns out he was right. Beer has some surprising health benefits.


Whether you’re grabbing a pint with your friends at a favorite local watering hole, or at home after a long day, enjoying a good beer can make any day just a bit better. Two main issues that usually arise when talking about beer and health are underage consumption or drinking and driving, and while they are important to discuss there are additional considerations to make when it comes to drinking and your health.

Beer is…healthy?

imagesGone is the trope of the Homer Simpson-like dad with a beer belly; the beer belly is a myth. The “beer belly” has more to do with over consumption than the nutritional contents of beer. Incorporating moderate consumption of beer into a healthy diet and balanced lifestyle can promote your overall well-being. Here are some health benefits to make you feel better when enjoying your favorite brew:

✓ Beer is a significant source of: protein, fiber, B vitamins and niacin

✓ Have or are worried about osteoporosis? Beer is one of few dietary sources of silicon, and research is shown is can help inhibit the effects of osteoporosis 

✓ Both wine and beer contain important antioxidants, but those contained        in beer are more easily absorbed into the body

✓ Polyphenols in beer help muscles recover, reduce cholesterol, and ward off cancer

✓ Because beer contains both calcium and silicon it promotes healthy bone growth

✓ Beer has been demonstrated to improve cognitive function and memory disorders

Let’s bust another myth: There is a common misconception that a dark beer like Guinness is unhealthy, but the color of your beer does not relate to the nutritional value.


An important relationship to understand is that as the alcohol content goes up, so does the caloric content. Styles like imperial stouts, barley wines, or IPAs that are eight or nine percent alcohol by volume—or more—have more calories from carbs. There is, however, a calorie trade-off. Sam Calagione, founder of Dogfish Head Brewery, told The Salt magazine that his philosophy for drinking heavy beers is that while the higher alcohol content boosts the calorie count it also enhances the flavor, which in the end makes the extra calories worth it.

A surprising statement on moderate consumption

Famed researcher of the health effects of alcohol consumption, Arthur Klatsky, says that in order to receive the heart-health benefits of drinking you must be consistent with your consumption patterns. One serving is twelve-ounces of a five percent beer; Klatsky notes that for men two or three drinks is appropriate, and one or two for women. Forget an apple a day and grab your favorite beer instead; do it for your heart.

Dangers of binge drinking (but let’s call it over-appreciation)

There is no shortage of warnings about the dangers of binge drinking. Whether it is making a stupid or embarrassing decision on a wild night, or drinking to the point of damaging your liver there are plenty of dangers to overdoing it. Here are just a few dangers of over consumption:

✗ Alcoholism (just a noun for overconsumption)

✗ Increased risk of heart failure and heart attack

✗ Psoriasis

✗ Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

✗ Cancer

✗ Pancreatitis

and last but not least…

✗ the dreaded hangover

Personally I think drinking gets an undeserved bad rep. Yes there are significant dangers, but just as with anything in life moderation is key. But it is, however, important to know all the facts so that you can make a well-informed decision about your drinking habits. There are so many varieties of beer that can be enjoyed, and a pint is the perfect compliment to a meal. Misinformation about beer and your health should not prevent you from enjoying responsibly.


Full Sail Brewing Company: Setting Sail towards Sustainability

UnknownTucked away in the small town of Hood River, Oregon lies one of the most sustainable breweries in the entire country. The Full Sail Brewing Company has had sustainability built into it when the brewery was first started in 1987. They are responsible for beers like the Full Sail Amber, and, my favorite, the Session Black. Executive Brewmaster, James Emmerson says that he “really prefers the term ‘responsible’ as opposed to ‘sustainable’”, which says a lot about the character of the employees, as well as the brewery. Not only are they artists of their craft, but they practice so responsibly with almost no effect on the environment they are based in. Let’s take a look at the initiatives that make Full Sail Brewing Company the eco-friendly brewery it is famous for.

Don’t Tear It Down

Sustainability has been a part of Full Sail since the assembly (not construction) of their brewery. Their brewery was “recycled” from an old cannery that had not been operable since 1972. The founders recycled and reclaimed as much as they could from the old warehouse. Although the renovation was not easy, the result was well worth it. Rather than tear down the building and risk more damage to the beautiful environment that is Hood River, they made due with what was already there. The founders acknowledge this achievement as something “to look back and remember this decision as the foundation for all sustainable business images-1practices to come”. The features that the renovated building has been equipped with include: a full wastewater treatment system, a high efficiency boiler, and a high efficiency glycol chiller. Everything in the building was implemented to achieve maximum energy conservation efforts. One thing that really stands out is that they have a 4 day work week, which reduces energy consumption by 20%, and reduces the emissions employees would emit on their drive to work. Now, thats a sweet deal! The standard, daily operations of the building breathe sustainability, Responsibility Never

Tasted So Good

Full Sail has taken big steps to ensure that they brew beers with as little water as possible and with the freshest, and most pure ingredients available. Triple Pundit reports that while the average brewery consumes 6 to 8 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of beer, Full Sail has managed to drop that number from 6 to 2.5! Annually, they are conserving 4.1 million gallons of water. This is an incredible achievement that other breweries need to take note of. As far as their ingredients go, they use only 4 ingredients: pure water, yeast, hops and barley from local farmers in the Northwest. Almost 99% of their ingredients come from locally grown farmers in Oregon. By them using locally grown ingredients, they are reducing carbon emissions that would be spent shipping the goods to the brewery. Another factor that makes this brewery stand out amongst all the others is that recently, Full Sail Brewing Company became Organic Certified by Oregon Tilth, which is one of the country’s most strike organic certification processes.

Full Sail Brewing Company has the criteria to be one of the most sustainable breweries in the whole country, and their practices should be an example to all other brewers who are trying to get a good start in the, rapidly expanding, craft brewing industry.

Drink to Enhance Life, Not To End It

According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Organization, drunk driving costs the United States $199 billion a year. This is a staggering number and poses the question of why aren’t the companies that are selling alcohol products to the public and gaining millions in revenue each year from their sale, helping to reduce the social costs directly associated with their products. On the surface it seems that there is not much that can be done as the breweries to combat this issue. People freely choose to drink, and people freely choose to drink and then drive drunk.o-DRUNK-DRIVING-facebook

However, many breweries, both big and small, have recognized that with their influence across communities and expansive marketing reach that it is possible to impact people’s decision to drink and drive and help eradicate this widespread issue in the US once and for all. As a consumer, I would definitely like to be aware of such companies that do go above and beyond to reduce their negative impact on the community. This would seem like a key point to consider when examining the practices of any brewery micro or macro.

Larger companies such as Anheuser-Busch have taken on a civil corporation view and recognized that with such widespread power in the industry comes greater responsibility. The makers of Budweiser have committed over $980 million in national advertising campaigns and preventative programs within the community to prevent issues like drunk driving and underage consumption. These campaigns, such as the Budweiser Designate A Driver program, are crucial because they are seen by a large sample of the population, both of age and underage. The reason why it is important for underage viewers to see these is because they will grow up with a perspective of how to responsibly enjoy alcohol when they do turn 21. Other companies in the industry strive to reduce the social costs associated with alcohol production, particularly through raising awareness about the dangers of alcohol abuse as well as drinking and driving.

Viewing the principles outlined in Beer Institute’s “Advertising and Marketing Code”  prior to the creation of any advertising campaigns is essential for companies who want to market their products in a responsible manner. Carlsberg Brewers Group sets and accomplishes goals for responsible marketing which many other brewers in the beer industry are adopting such as

  • All print communication above A4 and digital and TVC to carry responsible drinking messages
  • All markets to implement at least 1 responsible drinking programme
  • 100% of primary or secondary packaging to carry health messages to discourage:
    • Drinking and driving
    • Consumption by underage persons
    • Consumption by pregnant women


In 2013, New Belgium became a Certified B Corporation which means that to maintain this certification they must demonstrate a focus on employees, the community, and the environment year after year. Recognizing these three important groups as stakeholders really influences every decision New Belgium makes. With this New Belgium really looks to promote initiatives that reduce the social costs left inevitably by their product, one of the main ones being drunk driving deaths and injuries. At their annual Tour de Fat, which New Belgium holds in numerous cities across the US, responsible consumption is encouraged and advertised throughout the bike ride.

Over the last 5-10 years brewing companies, both large and small, have been making real strides in altering their operations to incorporate sustainability and to internalize social costs associated with their product, in particular drunk driving deaths and injuries. In my opinion, next steps for brewers and beer companies would be to partner and promote ride-sharing companies such as Lyft and Uber to further encourage responsible drinking and getting consumers of their products home safely. A report conducted by Uber in May 2014 supports this, which estimated that the entrance of Uber in Seattle coincided with a more than 10% reduction in the number of arrests for DUI. Be smart out there folks, and listen to companies like the ones mentioned above and enjoy their products responsibly so you can make it to enjoying another cold crisp craft brew next weekend.

The Monstrosities of Greenwashing

Greenwashing should be on the mind of anyone interested in how companies create and implement programs to become more sustainable. As the trend of environmental concern continues to rise, so are companies efforts and recognition of such concerns. These are not always effective and useful measures. Some of these measures can be easily manipulated and presented in a deceptive way to seem as if real effort is being made when the case is more contradictory.  Oxford Dictionary defines Greenwashing as: “Disinformation disseminated by an organization so as tumblr_nuqdnuXigR1tomxvuo2_1280to present an environmentally responsible public image.”(Oxford Dictionary). Hopefully we can begin to see the clash of interests. It costs real money to implement these programs. This is money that could be spent on other projects. This creates an incentive for managers to present their company in a green light so as to gain the positive PR but not so much as to take away from the normal business operations. It can be hard to strike a balance and when doing so many companies merely display numbers than provide meaningful information to stakeholders. This conflict of interest should be considered and scrutinized when examining any company as there can be a real difference between actual efforts and figurative numbers.

The Global Reporting Initiative!

GRI to the rescue! GRI is a group who has set sustainable reporting standards since the early 1980’s (GRI). As the attention shifted towards companies taking green initiatives, so did the need for reporting. The problem isn’t with reporting numbers but how the numbers are calculated and presented. Since we are dealing with companies of all industries (concerning green gri_logo_2006_befforts) the need for comparability and transparency became paramount. This allows for less greenwashing as efforts could be matched and compared to others in order to give some idea of how much impact was really created. GRI has created a set of standards and reporting procedures that allow companies to create reports and information that accurately reflect the company’s efforts. These resources can be found at the GRI website for download here.

Big Beer and Bigger Reporting: Miller Coors

Miller Coors is one of the most recognizable names in the beer industry not only for Colorado but the U.S. as well. Miller Coors has grown from a small brewery to producing and distributing vast amounts of beer throughout the world. With their expansion the need Unknown-1for generating a positive impact on the world around them has become increasingly present. Miller Coors has take many initiatives to help give back to the environment and protect what they use. With these initiatives we should immediately be concerned with whether such efforts are serious or merely numbers on a page. Thankfully Miller Coors has opted to follow the GRI reporting standards and issues an annual, Sustainability Report, highlighting such efforts. In their findings Miller Coors recognizes the need for comparability and materiality (MillerCoors). In their recognition, Miller Coors highlights its results compared to their goals and gives useful metrics that allow for comparability among the beer industry. This should be standard for any company in the beer industry. As beer requires many finite resources and has the potential for creating a large harmful impact, so should beer require the steps to correct and protect such measures. Companies can seek guidance not only from the GRI but from companies within the industry by comparing and implementing similar useful programs.

Thats a Wrap:

We want our readers to be alerted anytime numbers are thrown on a page. Numbers are numbers and only give value when their is meaning behind them. It can be hard to tell when numbers are more than what they seem (concerning greenwashing) but using guides such as the GRI we can begin to separate the men from the boys, so to speak. The GRI is only a start and does help create comparability and materiality. Still we must stress that numbers can be deceptive and serious research should be done concerning how these initiatives are actually implemented and whether there is a large follow through. Hopefully this has helped develop some idea of what greenwashing is and how companies can skirt around serious issues or deal with them in tremendous ways.

Top 7 Most Sustainable Breweries In The US

Aiming to be a sustainable company should be a top priority for your company. Many consumers place high responsibility on their favorite brands to not only be delicious, but also to be contributing to helping save our planet through their sustainability practices. So lets talk examples and see how some of the biggest brewing companies have made their mark on the sustainability campaign.


#1. New Belgium Brewing

 New Belgium is one of the more popular brands thought of when people think of sustainability. Something interesting about this brewery is that its origin is local to us here in Colorado. The company made its base in Fort Collins, Colorado. It uses something called science- based metrics to keep track of their company’s environmental performance. Through this they track water usage, waste, and their emissions. They strive to have clean water, they divert 99.9% of their waste, and they monitor their carbon footprint.

Water wise, the company has reduced water use per barrel of beer to 3.5:1 (the average range per barrel is from 6.1-10.1). On top of this, the brewery is partnered with Brewers for Clean Water. The campaign has donated nearly half a million dollars to restore local waterways. Something else hugely significant the company makes a high priority is hosting events to “give back” to its community. They stand out because they take initiatives to help support their customers and also celebrate their brand.


#2. Yards Brewing Co.

 This company is truly inventive when stepping up to the plate for sustainability. Located in Pennsylvania, it is the states first 100% wind powered brewery. They have also taken steps toward sustainable packaging by choosing to support the Sustainable forestry initiative through their cardboard packaging.

In their tasting room, the company composts all food scraps and tries to only use recycled materials. The company also sponsors an Earth Day event each year where they educate consumers about the declining honeybee population.


#3. Brooklyn Brewery

 Brooklyn Brewery uses 100% wind-generated electricity. They also do their part in recycling all paper, plastic and bottles the brewery generates and send grain to local farms. Water wise, the company recycles hot water and serves beer samples out of compostable cups.


#4. Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada has saved more than $5 million by diverting almost 100%n of its waste. Its brewery uses one of the largest solar array in the country where more than 10,000 panels meet 20% of the breweries energy needs. Sierra Nevada sources 20 percent of its power form an on site hydrogen fuel cell plant. It also captures co2 emitted during fermentation and recycles it back to the brewery.


#5. Full Sail Brewing


This company has always had sustainability on their mind. Its focus is on water sustainment and has its rated water consumption to 2.5 gallons compares to the average 6 o 8 gallons of water per gallon of beer.


#6. Lakefront Brewery

Lake Front Brewery makes its reputation for being the first in the US to produce an organic beer seem minuscule compared to its efforts for power sustainability. The company also claims to reclaim heat energy from the brewing process to reuse for the next batch of beer.


#7. Brewery Vivant

Brewery Vivant was the first LEED- certified microbrewery in the U.S. Its sustainability reports are released yearly and the company stick with recycled aluminum for packaging. It is said that 75 percent of the company’s purchases are from Michigan, with 90 percent coming from within 300 mile of the brewery. Vivant makes themselves known on the charity from by donating 11 percent of its profits to charities and pays all workers a living wage.


Other breweries that were close to making the top seven are: Alaskan Brewing Co., Bison Organic Beers, and Great Lakes Brewing Co. For more on the top most sustainable breweries in the US check out Triple Pundit and their ideas about what makes a brewery great at sustainability.




Bicycles, Beer, and Bettering the Environment

With the leaves starting to fall and the cold-weather approaching, many people are stashing their bikes in the garage for good. But New Belgium Brewing company gives us a reason to go for one last ride and to embrace the power that our good ol’ two legs can produce in their annual Tour de Fat.

tour-de-fatNew Belgium is a special company whose mission is devoted to delivering outstanding products in a way that internalizes its impact on the environment and strives to make local communities a better place. Currently New Belgium is a part of many initiatives ranging from partnering with the Waterkeeper’s Alliance to leading the industry in exemplary practices which are incapsulated in the Green Brewery Concept.

The cool thing is that New Belgium has recognized that in addition to the many sustainable practices they have committed to within the manufacturing and distribution of their products, there is always more that can be done. A great way that New Belgium has taken a step further and worked to create a culture of sustainability within their local communities is through the Tour de Fat.

The Tour de Fat is a community-wide costumed bike ride aimed at creating awareness on the issue of sustainable transportation in our society today. The Tour de Fat shows how simple yet profound it is to engage in human-powered transportation in one’s daily routine.  An awesome feature of the bike parade where riders make the commitment to commute solely by bicycle upon donating their car keys and vehicle in what New Belgium calls the “inspirational car-for-bike swapper series”. The event even features its own set of commandments to guide one’s two-wheeled endeavor:

  1. Put no means of transport before thy bike
  2. Honor all other bikes. All bikes are good bikes, and all those who ride them are good people
  3. May every generation come forth
  4. Thou shall come as a participant not a spectator: It’s a costumed celebration of human powered transportation
  5. Thou shalt not bring booze; But enjoy the supplied malted adult refreshments responsibly
  6. New Belgium shalt not profit: Our goal is to raise money for bicycle and environmental charities. On any other day, dressing like a freak and hanging out in the park with thine buddies might be reason for being called a Philanderer, but today thou ist a Philanthropist!
  7. Remember the purpose, and bring not your pooches
  8. Keep the day true with thy good juju: The ride is free, but we suggest a $5 donation to the good bike advocates who are putting it on for you
  9. Thou shall rise early … once we’re full, we will handle overflow like a restaurant or bar: one in, one out
  10. Thou shalt not steal thy neighbors’ bike

The fact that New Belgium distributes free varieties of their delicious beer to adult riders at the Tour de Fat further adds to the awesomeness. Having an entire community come together, both young and old, to embrace the beauty and simplicity of riding a bike is another aspect of the Tour de Fat that really leaves a positive impact on the community.

New Belgium makes some wicked good beer no doubt. The two criteria for differentiation within the craft brew industry have traditionally been taste and quality. To further differentiate themselves from other craft brewers in the industry, New Belgium places an emphasis on sustainability. Their commitment to promoting sustainability in all aspects of their business definitely gives them an edge over many other brewers in my eyes. You can be sure to find me at next year’s Tour de Fat celebrating the power of two wheels and enjoying a sustainably brewed Fat Tire Ale. Be on the lookout for upcoming Tour de Fats in the following cities and I hope to see you all there! Cheers!

Washington, District of Columbia 
Yards Park

Durham, North Carolina 
Diamond View Park

Chicago, Illinois 
Palmer Square

Twin Cities, Minnesota 
Loring Park

Boise, Idaho 
Ann Morrison Park

Fort Collins, Colorado 
Civic Center Park

Denver, Colorado 
City Park

San Francisco, California 
Golden Gate Park

San Diego, California 
Golden Hill Park

Tempe, Arizona 
Tempe Beach Park

See What’s Hoppin’ at Odell Brewing Company

Odell Brewing Company is a local craft brewer headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado. When founders Doug and Wynne Odell first moved to Fort Collins, their plans for opening Fort Collin’s first brewery seemed lofty and ambitious. The husband-and-wife team stuck with their dream and opened Odell Brewing Company in 1989. In 2014, Odell Brewing Company had sold 99,517 barrels of beer and look to continue growing into new markets. The company is completely self-funded and looks to keep it that way.odell_448x208

Regardless of how big Odell grows, sustainable and efficient processes will and always have been at the forefront of their local operations. Odell even has a sustainability committee, whose aim is to get input from across business divisions and implement new projects to help improve their carbon footprint as well as their bottom line. With a particular focus on reducing energy and water usage at their brewing and bottling facilities, Odell is one of the leading sustainable brewers in the state of Colorado.

  1. Energy usage

To see exactly how Odell Brewing takes sustainability to the next level, one must look inside their state of the art brewing facility, powered by 95% wind and the remaining 5% by solar power made possible by the 11,000 square feet of solar panels on site. Solartubes adjust the levels of sunlights that is let in from the outside and automatically turn down the temperature in their warehouses to compensate. Pretty cool if you ask me. Cooler still is how Odell has systems that capture the steam released in the boil process to heat the next brew. The company also uses bio-diesel delivery trucks, which emit 78 percent less CO2 than standard fuel.

  1. Water usage

As you may already be aware, making beer is a very resource intensive process. One of the main resources the brewing process requires is water. And a lot of it. It normally take around four gallons of water to brew just one gallon of beer. Odell has made some serious modifications to reduce their water usage in the past few years. The first being the installation of special vacuum pumps. The vacuum pumps that Odell installed in 2012 allow the same water to be reused three different times throughout multiple brews and saved the company from using 25 million gallons of water that year alone. More impressive still is how Odell has incorporated porous pavements in its parking lots and sidewalks to collect rain and snowfall into the groundwater used in many of its processes. Perfect for those snowy Colorado winters up in beautiful Fort Collins.

  1. Locally sourced ingredients

Most famous for its 90 Schilling and Easy Street brands, Odell sells seven year-round favorites. However, they are constantly experimenting with new flavors and varieties, and currently boast eight seasonal options. Regardless of what season they are brewing in, Odell has is a firm believer in using locally sourced ingredients. From barley and hops to the organic fruits and ciders it incorporates in its zestier seasonal varieties, Odell believes this focus on quality further sets their products apart and make for a more enjoyable drinking experience for the customer. It even sells back the spent grain, yeast, and hops to a local dairy farmer to be used as animal feed. They also recently named a beer after this fellow sustainably driven individual. That’s pretty neat.

  1. Focus on local distribution

Even though Odell Brewing Company has expanded distribution to states outside of Colorado, most recently Texas, they work to maintain a very regionally-focused distribution network. This helps reduce transportation costs and reduce emissions as a result. Odell still does most of their beer sales within their home state of Colorado, with 65% of its sales coming from within the square state. All in all, it is apparent that Odell Brewing Company is making real efforts to add value to its operations as well as to the environment.

From Micro to Mega: A Look at The Sustainability of the MillerCoors Brewery

The craft/ micro-brewering industry gets a lot of attention for the sustainability initiatives that they are putting into their business plans. We seldom hear how mega-breweries are doing their part to reduce their ecological footprint when they are producing on a much larger scale. Should we not be paying attention to how the big players are operating sustainability? Well, we should; miller-coors-logoso lets take a look into one of America’s largest brewing companies: MillerCoors. The joint venture is the creator behind Colorado’s own Coors Beer and the Miller High Life. MillerCoors is ahead of the game at brewing sustainably on the large scale level. They have met high goals in the fields of water conservation, energy conservation, and waste reduction. Let’s take a look into how MillerCoors operates sustainably.

Water Conservation

MillerCoors has taken serious measures to reduce the amount of water they use in brewing their beer. They report that they have saved 1.4 billion gallons of water Unknown
between 2008-2014. One way they achieved this is by teaming up with LimnoTech, which is the world’s leading water science consulting firms. Through this partnership, they are coming up with ways and ideas to promote sustainable water use in the brewery. Another approach that they are taking is they have implemented wastewater treatment facilities at several of their breweries. This method allows them to use the processed water for non-production procedures, like cooling, which greatly reduces their dependency on fresh water sources.

Energy Conservation
MillerCoors has recently started some major projects to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases and decrease their energy dependency. Beginning in October of last year, the company started construction on a 3.2 megawatt panel system being installed at their Irwindale Brewery. By the time it is completed, it will be the largest panel system installed at any United States brewery. With a system like this of such great magnitude, they are able to greatly reduce their need for non-rewneable energy sources. This array will generate enough energy for the brewery to brew over 7 million cases of beer. Solar panel systems are becomi
ng increasingly popular, as I previously stated in my article about Stone Brewing Company’s multi-million dollar solar panel system.

Waste Management

The final way that MillerCoors is promoting sustainability is through their waste reduction efforts. According to Opportunity Green, in 2009, MillerCo
ors was “able to meet their zero-waste goal, and the company was able to reduce its total waste by 20%”. They use all their waste to produce the energy needed to brew. Seven of their 8 breweries now are landfill-free. This is quite an achievement in theUnknown-1 field of sustainability. Their brewery in Golden, Colorado uses the waste beer to produce over 1 million gallons of ethanol annually. Ethanol is mixed with fuel to reduce emissions from automobiles.

As a mega-brewery, MillerCoors is a shining example that sustainability can be achieved at the large scale, and that the benefits tremendously outweigh the costs. By implanting sustainability at a larger level, there is going to be a greater positive impact on the environment. Micro breweries can use MillerCoors as an idea of sustainability that is desired by the brewery.

Colorado Brewing Highlight: Aspen Brewing Company

Aspen Brewing Company, nestlaspen-logoed in the snowy Roaring Fork Valley, opened in March of 2008. The brewpub has become a favorite nightspot of tourists and locals alike. Founder Duncan Clauss brought back craft beer to Aspen after Flying Dog Brewing Company relocated to Denver. With strong ties to the mountain lifestyle Aspen Brewing Company believes in supporting the community that supports it. The company is dedicated to learning more about the customer through community events, fundraisers and community gatherings.

“Aspen Brewing Company believes full-heartedly in supporting the community that supports us. As we immerse ourselves in more community events, fundraisers and gatherings we are able to learn more about you, the
craft beer drinker and outdoor enthusiast that we aim to fill with joy everyday.” 

Philanthropy and Community:

While Aspen Brewing Company has its eyes on expanding success they still believe their local roots are the most important community to serve. They support almost fifty non-profits including: Challenge Aspen, The Wildwood School, Green Corps, Aspen ECO Fest, and Pitkin County Public Library. Their dedication stems from the belief that a grassroots community is the backbone of the brewing company, they often say “think globally and act locally.”

Environmental Commitment:

1) Water Recycling:

Their brewing system uses cold water in a plate chiller to cool the beer before fermentation. They cool the “hot wort,” beer before fermentation, to 70 degrees while heating the cold water to 170 degrees. The brewers keep the hot water stored in an insulated tank until the next round of beer is brewed.

2) Bottle Recycling:

Aspen Brewing Company encourages customer to purchase growlers, 32 or 64-ounce glass jugs, and bring them back for a refill at a discount price. A 64-ounce
growler is the same volume as a six-pack, but using a growler reduces the use of materials as well as reduces waste produced.

3) Cans:

Cans are not only better for beer, but also are better for the environment compared to glass bottles. Using cans results in less energy usage in production, shipping, and recycling. They also use holders made from ninety-six percent post consumer recycled plastic that can be more easily reused and recycled.

4) Used Grain:

Working with local family farms and Rock Bottom Ranch the brewing company gives farms used malted barley so that it can be used in compost, as well as cattle, chicken and pig feed. Rock Bottom Ranch is a local teaching farm and subsidiary of Aspen Center for Environmental Studies.

Aspen Brewing Company was also one of forty-one Colorado businesses that issued a letter to urge Governor Hickenlooper to support the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan. Not only has Aspen Brewing Company taken steps to limiting their own carbon footprint, but they have also taken political action to ensure a better planet for future generations.

While Aspen Brewing Company’s actions illustrate a sense of responsibility and accountability information about such actions is neither readily available nor promoted. It would be beneficial not only for Aspen Brewing Company to promote responsible business actions, but also for the brewing community. Their commitment to the environment and the community should serve as an example for other brewers to follow.

Despite Aspen’s haute and elite reputation the town has deeper roots. It was once a rough-and-tumble town with roots in mining. The success of Aspen Brewing Company lies in its connection to the less haute Aspen and a genuine appreciation of the snowy Aspen brewing flighttown. Pretension is left at the door when people grab a glass of one of their seasonal brews. It is their commitment to the community and environment that makes Aspen Brewing Company that is a model for success and a path other companies should follow.


Upslope Brewing Company- Marketing practices

By Adrianna Marini

Upslope Brewing Company is a really popular Brewing Company in Colorado. It is helpful to look at Breweries that started off locally and are making their way beyond Colorado. Upslope Brewing Company is relatively new, releasing their first batch of Pale Ale to the public in 2008. They are known for producing tasty ales and lagers hand crafted in small batches. There are four main areas that Upslope has excelled in helping them to quickly become a popular brand name: Their can, Their Logo, Their Website, and Their expansion efforts.

The Can

Upslope’s can is iconic to their brand. They serve all their beers in aluminum cans for portability and because they are recyclable. This is great for their brand because they are paying close attention to convenience as well as sustainability. They use their can to target the “on- the- go beer enthusiast” like hikers and anyone who loves to explore the outdoors. This is a huge part of their brand, as their target consumers were Coloradans on the go. It is significant that they only offer a can option- this can make consumers think of Upslope when they think “canned beer”.

The Logo

Upslope’s logo is simple, but accurately represents the brand for its simplicity and where it is located. The mountains in the backdrop are relevant to Colorado It is important to make sure your logo is coherent with your overall brand colors. All successful business make sure their colors are incorporated throughout their marketing endeavors. Starbucks is a great example of beverage company with a successful logo marketing with their incorporation of their signature green into their marketing efforts. Your logo is the consumers first impression of your brand- and upslope has really nailed their logo.


The Website

Upslope’s website is exactly what a brewery’s website should aim to look and function like. On their home page, they have images of the product and people enjoying it, a teaser (small blurb) about who they are, their product, and their blog, and an easy to navigate menu tab. The colors of their brand are consistent throughout the entire site and it is always up to date. Everything is very well organized and this is essential to their marketing efforts. Other than the product itself, a companies website can be its biggest selling point. If consumers like what they see, they will be more obligated to taste the product. They also have platforms on social medias, which is essential to marketing the company online.

Expansion Efforts

Upslope uses their logo heavily in their marketing efforts. In many restaurants and bars, they have their logo hanging on a sign in the window. This is a great way to capture peoples attention because they will see the brand in an environment other than a bar environment. Another great marketing strategy that the company uses is hosting events almost daily. The Brewery has two locations that have events switching off from different food trucks to live music events. This draws in nearby workers on their lunch breaks to try their beers and enjoy different selections of food trucks. More recently, Upslope is coming up on their 7th year anniversary and have decided to have an event to celebrate. This is a great idea for spreading their brand further while also celebrating their success.

Upslope Brewing Company is a fantastic example of effective marketing in action. I am confident if they continue on their current path, they will become even more successful.

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