How 3 local breweries stay environmentally friendly

How 3 local breweries stay environmentally friendly
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(Note: Our Green City series is brought to you by Sealed Air, creating a better way for life. Sealed Air re-imagines the industries they serve to create a world that feels, tastes and works better.)

With the recent boom of breweries, not only in Charlotte, but in the country, it’s important to recognize the ones that are making strides to remain eco-friendly and environmentally conscious. Below are three local breweries that are doing just that.

This in no way means other spots around the 704 aren’t doing their best to make Mother Earth more green, but we’ve heard extra good things about the ones below.


John Marrino: The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery

  • OMB gives all its spent grain to Farmer Ralph (see below) to feed his livestock — mainly cows. They’ve had a partnership with him since their first year in business.
  • Any filtered water they use to cool off their wort is subsequently heated up and reused extensively during other parts of the brewing process.
  • OMB stores nitrogen produced onsite in its utility room, helping cut down on CO2 consumption.
    • Before the beer is transferred from the primary fermentation tank, the receiving lager tank must be purged using 99.995 percent pure nitrogen gas. Using pure nitrogen prevents oxidation of the finished beer in the lager tanks, which prevents flavor defects. 
    • “We used to purchase carbon dioxide (CO2) gas to purge our lager tanks. The onsite nitrogen generator has reduced our CO2 consumption dramatically. We’ve eliminated costly CO2 deliveries and the accompanying carbon footprint of those deliveries.”

Sarah Taylor Brigham: Sycamore Brewing

  • They make sure to give all of their spent grain to local farmers, which is used as animal feed.
  • Also, their beers are all natural.
  • Sycamore shares hops and grain with other South End breweries whenever others are in need of a few extra ingredients to reduce the environmental impact they all have. 
    • “It’s like borrowing a cup of sugar from your neighbor – only better – because it’s beer.”

Townes Mozer: Lenny Boy Brewing Co.

  • Lenny Boy sends all the spent grain and used produce to a local farm to use for feed, weed suppression and composting.
  • Although some CLT breweries share hops and grain, Lenny Boy Brewing Co. can’t since they are the only certified organic brewery around. They do actively produce collaborations with other breweries in the area, though.

How do you help Charlotte be a green city? We want to know. Email Lizzy Sirkin to share your Earth-saving life or business hacks.

Cover photo via The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery.

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