By Kayla Goldberg
Everyone loves to drink beer. But beer, just like everything else, takes energy and resources to make. That’s why sustainable breweries are so important. Two that are doing their part are Borderlands Brewing Company in Tucson and Mudshark Brewery in Lake Havasu City.
Beer Born in Tucson
Borderlands Brewing Company is on a mission to provide its local community with delicious craft beer filled with sustainable, local ingredients. The company strongly stands by the motto that “local beer is sustainable beer.”
How do they make their beer both local and sustainable? One way is by donating their spent grain to local farmers for use in composting.
As they explain, “Borderlands Brewing Company produces beer that reflects the community that enjoys it. As part of that community, we provide our spent grain free of charge for use in composting. A lot of time and energy goes into growing and malting the grains that we use, and we believe it’s only right that some of this energy and nutrients should be returned to the soil. By diverting our spent grain from the landfill, we help to keep our beautiful desert environment pristine and our local farmers’ and gardeners’ soil rich and healthy.”
The brewery is also a member of Conserve 2 Enhance, a Tucson organization that helps residents and businesses conserve water—which is extremely important when working and living in a desert environment.
As if composting and preserving water weren’t enough, Borderlands also utilizes solar energy. The company works with TEP’s Bright Community Solar Program to reduce the amount of fossil fuels used in the brewing process.
They are also strict on exclusively using non-toxic cleaning chemicals, refusing to send anything down the drain that could potentially harm the environment.
Borderlands has a taproom where you can stop in for a beer, a food truck that can be found at various places around Tucson (check the website for the Food Truck Schedule), and can be found at various retail and restaurant locations around Arizona. For more information, visit www.borderlandsbrewing.com.
Made With the Arizona Sun
Another Arizona brewery producing eco-friendly beer is Mudshark Brewery, a 20-year-old brewery which recently expanded by opening a tasting room on March 2. Located in Lake Havasu City, the company is also passionate about providing its local community with sustainable brews.
Mudshark owners like to say that their beer is “made with the sun on Arizona’s coast.” In fact, 80% of their daily brewing operations rely on solar power.
The brewery, which produces quality microbrews, does its best to reduce its carbon footprint and conserve resources. It recycles excess water from the brewing process, donates spent grain to local farmers, and uses natural gas rather than propane.
As well, in September of 2018, in honor of its 20th anniversary, Mudshark celebrated the grand opening of its new expanded facility. The facility includes a tasting room that accommodates 130 people, a new canning room, a lounging patio with games and lake views, a full-service bar, a kitchen with a wood-fired pizza oven, stages and an outdoor beer garden. For more information, and for where to purchase Mudshark beer, visit www.mudsharkbeer.com.
If you want to find a way to support other local breweries like Borderlands and Mudshark while being healthy and active outdoors, check out the Hiking for Hops at www.hiking4hops.com. The group is a community of like-minded individuals passionate about being active outdoors and drinking local. They organize monthly (or more) hikes around the state, and right after the adventure, visit one of the many local breweries, brew pubs, or bars that feature craft brewed beers.
Kayla Goldberg is an editorial intern for Green Living Magazine.
Photo courtesy Borderlands Beer Company