Sustainable Changes Rolling Out at Fernie Brewing Company
Whether it is a new beer, a piece of equipment or a packaging refresh at Fernie Brewing Co., a whole lot of planning and preparation goes on behind the scenes. The latest change at FBC is no different. However, with this change comes a host of benefits that flow from the Brewery to the Tasting Room and far beyond.
First up, waste. With spent grains being the largest waste product in the brewing process, at approximately 85% of total brewery waste, FBC knew they had to put it to good use and have long been donating spent grains to local ranchers – as a highly nutritious and delicious protein source for their livestock. This is one of the longest standing,sustainable practices in place at FBC. In January 2019, to further improve this program, a Spent Grain Silo was installed, to hold larger volumes of spent grain, allowing for improved storage, easier access, and year-round pick-ups – with none of it ending up in the landfill.
Next up, supporting local. FBC recognizes the huge importance of sourcing ingredients and supplies locally whenever they can. They buy the majority of their Brewing Equipment from BC Manufacturers; their barley malt, wheat, oats, and rye are grown in Western Canada; and their fantastic FBC merchandise is hand-printed locallyin Fernie.These actions not only lower greenhouse gas emissions by reducing shipping, but also support the local economy and Canadian Small Businesses.
Their newest change, however, is the biggest sustainable change yet. While maximizing efficiency to minimize loss has always been top of the list for FBC, their upgraded Canning Equipment, recently installed spring 2021, ensures more efficiencies and less waste throughout their entire packaging process.
This move also comes with huge environmental rewards, as it allows FBC to make the long-awaited move to cardboard cartons for their 6-packs, and to PakTechcan carriers for their 4-packs – a changethat will remove nearly 5,700lbs of plastic rings and shrink wrap from entering the landfill annually, while saying good-bye to all single-use plastics.
FBC customers will also reap rewards – with greater stability in their packs, longer shelf-life, and better tasting beer. Not to mention, for local FBC drinkers, their new Take Back Program on FBC PakTech can carriers. Simply return them to the Tasting Room for a $0.10 credit and FBC will safely sanitize and re-use.
Last, but not least, sustainably simple Growlers. FBC have had Growlers in their Tasting Room for several years, as a sustainable, straightforward way to buy beer.Over the years FBC’s Growler filling system has been improved, to ensure less waste and improved quality and longevity. It is the perfect opportunity to get FBC Draft straight from the source, in the most sustainable packaging format.
Fernie Brewing Co. would also like to take this opportunity to thank their local, and not so local community, for the ongoing support during the past year. While guidelines continuously change, FBC is working hard to evolve and support everyone during this challenging time – and they are grateful for the support in return.
Photo Credits: @vinnie_botton and @sorannefloarea