It’s the perfect time of year to sit in the sun, watch the grass grow and drink a beer brewed with solar power. Morrisville, VT’s Rock Art Brewery celebrated becoming the first brewery in the Green Mountain State to get all of its energy from solar power by releasing its new Sun Rocked IPA. Electricity generated by its new 67-kilowatt, photovoltaic array, installed by SunCommon, powers every step of the brewing process and will provide the facility with significant energy cost reductions annually.
“Beer brewing and packaging uses a lot of energy. We’re always looking for ways to reduce our environmental impact and solar was a perfect fit. We can run our machinery on the sun–why not? To celebrate going solar we’re brewing up a delicious Sun Rocked IPA with nice tropical fruit, berries and citrus flavors–everything that summer sunshine represents,” said Matt Nadeau, co-owner of Rock Art Brewery.
The rooftop solar installation at Rock Art Brewery will power everything from lighting and refrigeration to running the canning line. Solar even powers the forklift that loads pallets of Sun Rock IPA and the company’s other beers onto trucks for distribution. It joins a number breweries in the US, like Michigan's Brewery Vivant, that have gone solar in order to save on operating costs and promote environmental responsibility.
“Rock Art Brewery and SunCommon’s values are so aligned–this was an obvious pairing,” said Mike McCarthy, solar project consultant for SunCommon. “Businesses are always looking for ways to reduce their cost, and they can’t get away from their power bill. By going solar, they’ve turned a significant monthly expense into an investment in their business. A win-win.”
The energy needed to make beer in the US costs nearly $200 million annually, according to Energy Star’s Energy Efficiency Improvement and Cost Savings Opportunities for Breweries report. With a larger manufacturing and distribution network than most small breweries, the Craft Beer Alliance, which includes Redhook and Kona Brewing, collectively committed to sustainability goals in 2016. Together, the breweries agreed to reduce gas emissions created by manufacturing and distribution by 20 percent and divert 99.8 percent of waste through recycling and waste prevention protocol.Tweet