Local News

The Alchemist taps solar for its brewing operations

BETHEL — The Alchemist of Waterbury, Vt., the Vermont maker of Heady Topper, is getting a boost from the local sun to green its brewing operations.

AllEarth Renewables, a Vermont-based solar tracker manufacturer and developer of solar projects, and the Alchemist have announced a partnership that will provide the brewery solar energy from a portion of a 150kW Vermont solar orchard. The 150kW system in Bethel, Vt. is hosted on land of Michael and Amy Manning land, who plan to plant clover around the solar array for forage for honey bees. Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) will remain with the project.

“We have always wanted our land to help support itself and these projects are good for the community,” said Michael Manning. “We’re proud to have this in our backyard.”

The new solar project will provide nearly 100 percent of the energy the Waterbury brewery needs annually with emissions-free, net-metered solar and provide the company long-term annual savings on its electric bill.

The Alchemist recently joined the Ceres Brewery Climate Challenge, committing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and join the call for substantive climate action. The initiative emphasizes “using less energy, choosing clean energy, and investing in new technologies,” and that environmental stewardship and successful business goes hand-in-hand.

“We saw first-hand the effects of climate instability when we got flooded out of our own brewery during Tropical Storm Irene. We are committed to our customers not only to brew the best quality beers we can, but to take leadership in addressing our climate challenges. Through this partnership, we can do this and save money in our business operations,” Alchemist co-owner Jen Kimmich said.

In addition to the new solar commitment, The Alchemist’s Waterbury cannery has increased its composting and side streaming program to reduce its waste.

At a new energy efficient facility and visitors center the brewery is constructing in Stowe, Vt., The Alchemist is installing cutting edge technology to reclaim and reuse all of the CO2 the brewery will produce and an innovative water treatment facility to minimize the strength of its wastewater.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Alchemist to provide locally-produced solar power for their top-ranked beer. Their decision to go solar sends a strong message about their values as a company and commitment to both the Vermont economy and taking leadership to address our energy challenges,” added David Blittersdorf, president and CEO of AllEarth Renewables.

Mountain Times Newsletter

Sign up below to receive the weekly newsletter, which also includes top trending stories and what all the locals are talking about!