Beer production can carry a fairly hefty environmental footprint involving distribution, electricity for the brewing process and of course the water needed to produce the perfect pint. In fact its been estimated that four litres of water are required for every pint of beer brewed, meaning that beer can have a large water footprint too. Many brewing companies are now trying to produce ethical beer that is kinder to the planet and which is more sustainable.
Ethical beer, sustainably brewed
Packaging is also a major consideration – especially the use of plastic. By reducing the amount of packaging used craft beers can be produced in a way that minimises waste. Many consumers also value the unique and varied types of craft beers offered by smaller, ethical producers – distinct in both style and taste and different to the branded mass produced beer that has become ubiquitous around the world.
Bottles, cans or at home?
A common question is which is most sustainable – bottles, cans or drinking at home? The answer might surprise you! According to climate expert Mike Berners-Lee, packaging is a major contributor to the environmental impact and therefore draught in a pub is often the most sustainable way to drink beer. If you prefer to drink at home, cans are better than bottles in terms of carbon footprint. Aluminium cans made from recycled materials save around 92% of the energy compared to making from raw materials. Recycled glass bottles save about 30%.