Solar Powered Beer at Barrington Brewery | Connecting Point | Dec. 5, 2019

Solar Powered Beer at Barrington Brewery | Connecting Point | Dec. 5, 2019


>>>IF OUR CRAFT BEER AFICIONADO, THIS NEXT
STORY MAY BE JUST FOR YOU. THERE ARE FOUR MAIN INGREDIENTS
NEEDED TO MAKE BEER. MALT, HOPS, YEAST, AND WATER. BUT IN GREAT BARRINGTON,
MASSACHUSETTS, THERE IS A BREELY RE THAT’S ADDED A FIFTH
INGREDIENT, SUNLIGHT. USING BOTH A SOLAR HOT WATER AND
A SOLAR ELECTRIC SYSTEM, THE OWNERS OF THE BREWERY SAY THAT
THEY HAVE CUT THEIR UTILITY BILLS DRAMATICALLY, ALL THE
WHILE BREWING A TASTY VARIETY OF ALES AND LAGERS. “CONNECTING POINT”‘S DAVE FRASER
TAPS INTO THIS STORY TO BRING US THE FROTHY DETAILS.>>WHAT DO I —
>>OWNERS GARY AND ANDREW WERE NO STRANGERS TO THE RESTAURANT
BUSINESS WHEN THEY SAW AN OPPORTUNITY TO START A BREW PUB
ON THE SITE OF AN OLD DAIRY FARM IN GREAT BARRINGTON,
MASSACHUSETTS.>>THE BREW PUB CONCEPT WAS
PERCOLATING AT THAT TIME. SO WE SAW AN OPPORTUNITY FOR
THIS CONCEPT OF THE BREW PUB, FRESH BEER BREWED ON PREMISE. AND HERE WE ARE 25 YEARS LATER.>>AT THAT TIME, THE STATE
ISSUED A FARM BREWER’S LICENSE TO THE HANDFUL OF BREWERS THAT
WERE OPERATING ACROSS THE COMMONWEALTH.>>I BELIEVE THE COST ANNUALLY
IS UNDER $50 A YEAR FOR THE FARM BREWERS LICENSE. YOU CAN’T GO FISHING IN THIS
STATE FOR UNDER $50 A YEAR. THE STATE IS REALLY IS TRYING TO
GET RID OF THOSE LICENSES. BUT WE’RE GRANDFATHERED IN AND
WE WANT TO KEEP THAT LICENSE. IT ALLOWS US TO DISTRIBUTE OUR
BEER OFF PREMISE BY OURSELVES, NOT GO THROUGH A DISTRIBUTOR. IT ALLOWS US TO SELL OUR PRODUCT
OVER THE BAR IN CANS AND IN GROWLERS. AGAIN, IT’S UNDER $50 A YEAR SO
WE LIKE THAT FARM BREWERS LICENSE.>>THERE ARE FOUR BASIC
INGREDIENTS IN BEER: MALT, HOPS, YEAST, AND WATER. BUT IN 2007, THE BARRINGTON
BREWERY ADDED ONE MORE NATURAL INGREDIENT, SUNLIGHT.>>WE PUT IN A SOLAR HOT WATER
SYSTEM. NOT ELECTRIC BUT HOT WATER. 12 YEARS AGO.
AND THAT FEEDS, THAT MAKES HOT WATER THROUGH THE SOLAR PANELS. AND THAT FEEDS DIRECTLY TO THE
BREWERY. SO ON A REALLY GOOD DAY, WE’RE
MAKING 160, 17 OH DEGREE WATER AND WE’LL FEED THE BREWERY WOULD
W-THAT WATER.>>THAT ALSO SERVES THE
RESTAURANT SIDE OF THE BUSINESS. AND THE OWNERS SAY THEY HAVE CUT
THEIR NATURAL GAS USAGE BY 50%. BUT THERE WAS AN ADDED BONUS TO
GOING SOLAR.>>WE USED TO HAVE TO HEAT A LOT
OF OUR HOT WATER IN THE BREW KETTLE CAUSING A LOT OF HEAT IN
THE TAVERN WHERE THE CUSTOMERS ARE.
AND THAT WAS FIGHTING OUR AIR CONDITIONING IN THE SUMMERTIME. SO THIS ALLOWS US YOU TO PUT IN
AN INDUSTRIAL SIZE ON COMMAND HOT WATER HEATER. IT WAS AN ADDED BONUS WE DIDN’T
FIGURE INTO THE SOLAR HOT WATER SYSTEM.>>THE BREWERY PRODUCES A NUMBER
OF UNFILTERED, SEASONAL ALES AND LAGERS WITH AN ENGLISH STYLE OF
BREWING, ACCORDING TO THE HEAD BREW EVERY, ANDREW. THE BEER IS PACKAGED IN CANS,
GROWLERS AND KEGS AS WELL AS SOLD AT THE RESTAURANT.>>IT WAS PRETTY AMAZING IDEA
THAT PEOPLE WERE BUYING A PRODUCT THAT I WAS MAKING. THAT WAS LIKE, WOW, AND THEY
LIKED IT. AND IT WAS GOOD. I HAVE A NUMBER OF CUSTOMERS, A
LOT OF CUSTOMERS WHO STARTED OFF COMING IN HERE AND THEY WERE
BUDWEISER DRINKERS OR THEY WERE, YOU KNOW, LIKE LIGHT LAGER
DRINKERS. AND NOW THEY’RE LIKE, WHAT’S THE
NEW SEASONAL BEER? WHAT’S THE SCOTTISH ALE COMING
OUT? WHEN IS THE BELGIAN BROWN ALE
COMING OUT? THEY ARE TRYING EVERYTHING. AND THAT’S BEEN REALLY FUN.>>THE BUSINESS MOTTO SINCE THE
BEGINNING HAS BEEN TO RECYCLE ALL PAPER, CARDBOARD, CANS AND
GLASS. IN 2007, THEY OPENED A BANQUET
FACILITY CONSTRUCTED WITH RECLAIMED WOOD AND CARPET PLAYED
FROM RECYCLED MATERIALS. IN 2016 WITH THE HOT WATER
SYSTEM DOING ITS THING THE BUSINESS OWNERS LOOKED TO THE
SKY ONE MORE TIME TO REDUCE THEIR CARBON FOOTPRINT EVEN
MORE.>>WE WERE ABLE TO ACQUIRE A
PIECE OF PROPERTY ADJACENT TO OUR PARKING LOT. WE PUT IN 460 SOLAR PANELS. AND NOW WE’RE MAKING HOT WATER
AND ABOUT 90% OF OUR ELECTRICAL NEEDS ARE PROVIDED BY THE SOLAR
FIELD.>>IN AUGUST OF THIS YEAR, SOLAR
PLAZA, A CONSULTING FIRM, SPECIALIZING IN ENVIRONMENTAL
ISSUES, UPDATED ITS GLOBAL LIST OF THE TOP 100 SOLAR POWERED
BREWERIES AND THE BARRINGTON BREWERY CAME IN RANKED NUMBER
34.>>WE JUST TRY TO BE AWARE OF
WHAT WE’RE BUYING AND HOW WE’RE GOING TO USE IT AND WHAT’S GOING
TO HAPPEN TO IT WHEN WE’RE DONE. WE DO THE SAME THING EVERY DAY. THE KEY TO DOING IT IS THAT YOU
DO IT WELL AND YOU HAVE A PASSION FOR IT.
AND I DO HAVE A PASSION FOR IT. I DO ENJOY IT.
AND WE’VE CREATED, I BELIEVE, A UNIQUE ENVIRONMENT WHERE PEOPLE
COME IN AND FEEL COMFORTABLE AND WELCOME. AND THAT I GET GREAT
SATISFACTION FROM, THAT WE CREATED A PLACE THAT PEOPLE LIKE
TO COME TO. THEY LIKE US! THEY LIKE US BEFORE FACEBOOK!

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