Welbeck Abbey Brewery is continuously seeking ways to minimise its environmental impact by creating a dynamic, sustainability ethos throughout the brewery.
A savvy move to in-house bottling has enabled them to realise several green goals: a reduction in beer transportation mileage, together with moving away from filtered and force-carbonated bottled beers to the more natural process of bottle-conditioning.
One of the serious upsides for drinkers is a better flavour profile in the beer more akin to cask ale in a pub – a ‘gift’ for everybody!
After an analysis of what, why and how, a number of clever carbon saving changes were singled-out including relocating the refrigeration chiller to use the heat by-product to help with natural beer fermentation. The main office is heated this way too, effecting reduced energy costs and carbon footprint. Spent hops and grain are already used to fertilise the Welbeck Estate and currently, the Team are focussing on innovative projects to reuse wastewater.
Claire Monk, General Manager, said ‘We consider ourselves heritage guardians of the Welbeck Estate and as such we endeavour to help maintain it’s longevity by working sustainably. And, just as importantly, our craft beer customers are conscientious consumers with a keen interest in sustainability and therefore selective about who they buy their beer from’.
The Brewery is particularly keen on customer collaboration: customers return the brewery’s cardboard bottle boxes, which are then reused for subsequent deliveries. The success of the scheme means that the stack is internally referred to as ‘The Leaning Tower of Pisa!’
Future challenges for the Brewery include a comprehensive environmental audit evaluating each department to find ways to conserve natural resources. ‘Thinking efficiently’ is part of the brewery culture and integral to achieving a long-term sustainable business.