Smuttynose Brewing Co. & Unitil – energy for life

Smuttynose Brewing Co. & Unitil – energy for life


Brewing in itself is a great confluence
of art and science and technology. It’s one of the things that really appeals to
me about being in the brewing business. Smuttynose began in a backwards way I
guess I have to say at a bankruptcy auction. We had a lot of catching up to
do because here we had a building full of equipment but we didn’t have a plan.
We didn’t have any brand identity. We didn’t even have the name of the company
at the time. We spent almost our first 20 years in our old brewery which was a
nondescript cinder block Butler building in an industrial area on the edge of
Portsmouth. In our minds we were always trying to push sustainability measures
green measures but there was just so little we could do. We weren’t going to
be able to rebuild that building. We weren’t going to be able to invest a lot
in upgraded equipment there. So until this facility opened it always seemed like
it was a lot of words and not necessary a lot of action. Through all the meetings
that we had in advance of the actual groundbreaking, we reviewed all of the
eligibility requirements for the energy efficiency programs and they really did
their homework. They had their plans all laid out. Working with Tim and Unitil
was it was a fantastic learning experience for me. I knew bits and pieces
about this project. And I knew that there were a lot of new technologies and
pieces of equipment. And I seem to be all this really arcane kind of futuristic
Star Trek kind of technology that would make things work. I had a couple of
moments where I thought, “Oh God I’ve got a BA in English how am I going to
learn all this crazy science stuff” and really quickly I figured out for talking
about Tim that a lot of these technologies and machines actually work
on really simple principles. We’re registered to achieve LEED
certification on this building. It’s a really important part of what we’re
trying to accomplish here. LEED certified means Leadership in Energy Efficient
Design and it’s an international process. It has a point system in place that you
use with identify different measures that you’re taking to minimize the
environmental footprint of the construction project in the building
itself in the long term. But we went several measures beyond what was required as
part of that process and looked for opportunities to both save on fossil
fuel consumption as well as electrical power. The measures that we’ve embarked
upon our air compressing, waste, heat recovery, chillers, lighting. Every single
aspect of this plant has been built with energy efficiency in mind and I think
it’s really a blueprint of what breweries should be saving energy and
saving water and reducing waste. The solutions aren’t complicated. In fact,
when we explain it to people on tours they’re kind of amazed at how simple
these things are. That was probably the best education for what I do is learning
that it’s not hard, it’s not complicated, you just have to decide that you want to
do it. And if you have good partners to work with they’ll make it even easier
for you to understand it and see the value of doing it. The thing that has fundamentally
propelled that craftier industry is growing awareness among consumers of
matters of authenticity, of quality, of commitment to community. There’s always
more beer to brew and new styles to try and new challenges. You know growing
business is always fun to be part of. It’s a fantastic facility and I think we
all love being here. Smuttynose brewing will continue and it will continue, I
believe, as a real solid and important member of the business and cultural and
the social community that it inhabits. They never stop improving even with the
level that they’ve achieved here. They’re continuing forward and I’m quite
confident they will never stop improving.

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