HOW TO CLEAN A MOUNTAIN GOAT
Reducing the Environmental Impact of a Microbrewery
Microbreweries are typically small industrial operations that craft fantastic beer but consume a lot of power and water and often have significant emissions. We at Goat are hell-bent on doing things smarter by reducing our impact on the environment. Moving to the new building during 2004 gave us a great opportunity to set things up right.
SITE AND RENOVATIONS
A big issue was finding the right site in inner Melbourne. The building we found has10 metre ceilings and is north facing giving us lovely winter sunlight. When we took over the site it was a disused warehouse shell. We tracked down a huge range of reclaimed materials including corrugated iron for internal walls, windows and frames, doors, timber for the bar and three big tables, various cupboards and cabinets, a cool room and even a second hand urinal.
One of the first things you notice when you walk in the front door is a big rainwater tank by the bar. This tank holds 11,000 litres of rainwater that we catch from the roof, filter and flush all the toilets with. In our first 18 months in the building this tank saved just on 200,000 litres of mains water.
All our beers are naturally brewed avoiding all preservatives and additives and our India Pale Ale was Australia’s first certified organic beer. These days our biggest selling bottled beer – Steam Ale – is certified organic.
Whenever we order boxes, coasters, letterheads, business cards etc they are all made from recycled paper.
STEAM AND ODOUR
These are very common emissions from all breweries. We have fashioned a copper vapour condensing unit and attached it to our brew kettle. This almost completely eliminates steam and most of the odour when we are boiling the wort.
SOLAR HOT WATER
In June 06 we won a government grant to help us install 9 solar panels on the roof. These panels preheat all our brewing water to around 55 degrees c and minimise our use of mains power.
Before any waste from the brewery floor goes to sewer it is Ph and temperature neutralised in a holding tank.
RIDE TO WORK
Every Christmas our staff are paid a bonus based on the number of times in the year they rode their push bike, walked or caught public transport to work. Each week our staff rack up around 300 k’s commuting to work sustainably. We also have two goat bikes that live at the brewery and are used for daytime trips to the bank, post office, bakery etc.
STAY CLOSE TO YOUR BEER
It’s a simple thing but an important thing. We sell the vast majority of our beer in Victoria- approx 90% by volume. This keeps transportation to a minimum and also helps our beer stay fresh.
OFFICES MADE FROM BOXES
We needed to increase our office space in 2011 so we asked our mate Pete Ho at Phoeey Architects what to do. He dreamt up the box creation pictured above. We built two new offices and a foyer with a basic stud frame but incorporated old beer cartons, re-swen yacht sails for curtains, reclaimed carpet tiles and then wallpapered an internal wall with old beer labels we didn’t need. It’s a fun space to work in.
We’re always throwing more ideas around in here but if you think of some more cost effective things we can do, please email us. From time to time we’ll post info here about waste we may have that could be of use to someone. Right now we have malt bags on hand. We empty 50 – 100 of these 25 kg malt bags per week here and they could easily be reused for a variety of purposes. Please come and see us of you’d like some.
You can visit the Mountain Goat Brewery any Wednesday or Friday evening from 5pm. We have all our beers on tap and cook rockin’ pizzas.
80 North St, Richmond, Victoria. Ph 03 9428-1180