Think about this: It takes between five and eight gallons of water to make one gallon of beer. Fort Collins’ New Belgium Brewing Company is well-known for its sustainability efforts, but for smaller operations, having an effective eco-friendly plan is a much larger feat. So it’s all the more impressive that Tom Schurmann (president and CEO of 6 and 40 Brewery in Lakewood) and Connie Baker (co-founder and head distiller at Marble Distilling Co. in Carbondale) are leading the charge in the quest to go green. Both businesses have incorporated water systems that capture and reuse waste water from brewing and distilling processes, and both offer spent grains to local ranchers for livestock feed. Schurmann recommends brewers make the jump to tankless hot water heaters to reduce their carbon footprint and energy bills. Baker advocates for an inexpensive, consumer-recognized certification program to validate sustainable practices. “Look at sustainability measures from a standpoint of what you can do in your operation and what works for you,” Baker says. “Even small measures are a win-win for you and the planet.”
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