Worcester area brewery adopts environmentally friendly technology

CHARLTON, Mass. — Green beer instantly brings up thoughts of St. Patrick’s Day.

But a popular brewery in central Massachusetts is making environmentally friendly beer 365 days a year.

The Tree House Brewing Company in Charlton is adopting cutting-edge technology to reduce its carbon footprint.

“Brewing is a resource-intensive undertaking that produces secondary by-products that harm the atmosphere,” said Nate Lanier, the company’s co-founder and CEO.

Brewing beer creates, and requires, large amounts of carbon dioxide which is a greenhouse gas.

“We use it every day, whether we’re carbonating beer or purging out tanks,” explained maintenance manager Dan Flink. “It’s something that’s critical.”

Tree House recently installed a new system created by Earthly Labs. It captures CO2 created as the beer is made, recycling and purifying it, so it can be used in other parts of the brewing process.

Flink said the system can recover roughly 100,000 pounds of the gas which would otherwise be vented into the atmosphere. He added that’s equivalent to the amount of carbon 1,500 trees could capture in a year.

When asked if this approach could be a gamechanger for the industry, Flink said “I think in the future it’s going to be an industry standard.”

Brewing also takes a lot of water to produce. At Tree House, they’re trying to take steps to make sure that their wastewater has minimal impact on the environment.

“The wastewater from brewing relative to other wastewater streams is very intensive for municipalities to deal with,” Lanier said.

He says Tree House added technology to reduce the toxicity of their wastewater.

This is all part of a broader plan to think about the impact of what they do, and how they can make it better.

“Our hope at Tree House is that we can be a leader in the sense that we inspire others to consider this technology,” said Lanier. “I think today’s consumer demands more of the companies that produce products for them and we aspire to be part of that.”

Lanier said the recycled CO2 is purer than what Tree House can buy and that actually improves the quality and taste of their beer.

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