Meeting’s aim: to keep craft beer ecologically friendly

Business News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Usually when you think green beer, St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner.

But the Rhode Island Brewers Guild and the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) brought state regulators and beer makers together Monday morning to keep the craft beer-making process more ecologically friendly by running the greenest possible operations.

Some of the more than two dozen craft brewers in the state are already working to keep yeast and hops out of wastewater, avoiding the upset of a biological balance in municipal wastewater treatment plants.

Some green methods are part and parcel of the process: “There isn’t a brewer out there who doesn’t have a farmer that takes his spent grains and feeds it to livestock,” Rhode Island Brewers Guild executive director Gary Richardson said, but they’re still on the lookout for more creative methods. Monday’s workshop was a think tank to generate ideas like making something useful out of solid beer waste or collaborating with other industries in waste treatment such as the seafood industry.

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