The California Water Environment Association has awarded Stone Brewing – Escondido the coveted P3S* Facility of the Year in Southern California. The award recognizes high performing leaders in the areas of waste management and pollution prevention.
“It is deeply rooted in our ethos to brew outstanding beers with an unwavering commitment to sustainability,” said Greg Koch, Stone Brewing executive chairman & co-founder. “It’s something we’ve preached since our early days and we work hard to put it in practice every single day. It’s neither cheap nor easy, but we see sustainability as a basic responsibility to the communities in which we reside, and as leaders in the craft beer industry. This is a core value to us.”
The recent win honored Stone’s contributions in three categories:
- In 2017 Stone had an astounding 357 days of ZERO effluent discharge to the City of Escondido. A staggering 27 million gallons of brewing byproduct turned into 17.5 million gallons of reclaimed water that was reused for non-potable cleaning processes. Ultimately, this significantly offset the company’s potable water demand and allows for diversion of precious water resources elsewhere in the community.
- Stone’s 2017 water to beer ratio was 4.5:1, meaning the team uses 4.5 gallons of water for every 1 gallon of beer produced. According to the Brewer’s Association, the industry standard is 7:1.
- Pollution Prevention:
- Excellence in this category points to Stone’s innovative repurposing of brewing by-products. Stone sends the liquid portion of the by-product from the Lauter Tun and Spent Yeast streams to the local Encina Water Pollution Control Facility, which uses its high-strength organic content to generate electricity. As a result of Stone’s volume (about 15,000 gallons per day), the facility has been able to achieve a remarkable 100% energy independence.
- The hop and yeast solids removed from these streams are combined with spent grain and sent to farms as food for livestock. Stone is the first to repurpose hops and yeast for cattle, goat and chicken feed.
- Storm Water Practices:
- Stone uses natural bio-swales (channels to carry and filter storm water runoff, vegetated along the bottom and sides) to treat all storm water run-off from the brewery’s property. The bio-swale filters water heading for the storm drain and Stone samples the water regularly to ensure nothing harmful is making its way offsite into the storm water system. This is especially important due to the importance Stone places on protecting our coastal waterways and beaches. Since beginning this practice in 2015, zero contaminants have been found in Stone’s storm water effluent.
“Simply receiving a nomination for the Facility of the Year Award is an incredible accomplishment in itself,” states CWEA’s, P3S Southern Awards Committee Chair, Stephen Sealy. “Nominations are submitted by inspectors whose job is to determine if a company is meeting environmental permit requirements at the local, state and federal levels. The typical result of a compliance inspection is that an inspector usually finds fault in a company’s environmental efforts. As companies become more mindful of their role in environmental responsibility, awards like the P3S Facility of the Year award allow us to honor outstanding socially responsible top performers in their industry. Companies like Stone Brewing, whose primary function is to make beer and not perform water treatment, demonstrate those outstanding efforts. Stone’s company-wide culture of commitment to preserving the environment and caring for its community in every aspect of the operation is what puts them at the top.”
Sustainability efforts and community consciousness are routine at Stone Brewing. The company limits C02 emissions with rooftop solar panels, is the largest restaurant purchaser of local, organic produce in San Diego County and has donated more than $3.5 million to charity. More on Stone’s sustainability and community contributions can be found here.
Stone’s waste ranked just under the daily average amount qualified for the large industry category of the P3S Facility of the Year award. The category is open to all businesses in the state of California. The win was determined based on a site visit to a handful of the top finalists. Stone has been pre-treating water since 2001 and began aggressively ramping up its practices in 2008. The company has invested upwards of 9 million dollars in capital to the program and continues to explore new technologies to further reduce and reuse byproducts, and thus ultimately reduce waste. Does Stone think that all this makes the beer taste better? Absolutely yes they do.
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