Beer Powered Beer: The Alaskan Brewing Company
From the moment you walk into the Alaskan Brewing Company in Juneau, Alaska, you know that there is quality brew in every pour.
The vibe is one of love and passion, from the flowing brew taps themselves, to the smiling brewers handing you a sample, to the logos emblazoned on the gift shop memorabilia.
Here, situated on Shaune Drive, is where the Alaskan Brewing Company got started nearly 30 years ago. And they are still brewing there today, in the same location. Of course, they’ve grown from a 2,000-square-foot facility to one that’s 47,000-square-feet.
Everything here runs like a well-oiled machine.
The love behind their Beer Powered Beer initiative extends far beyond the love of just brewing great beer. It’s much bigger, more powerful, thoughtful, and intentional than that. It is based on the premise of exercising environmental stewardship in every aspect of making beer, with a goal to have a net-zero negative effect on their environment, by reclaiming and re-using at least as much waste and emissions as they produce.
It’s about brewing great beer while being conscientious and respectful of Alaska’s beautiful environment. It’s about giving back, and being responsible and sustainable in how they use their resources to brew great beer.
Being resourceful, not wasteful, is a culture that is purely Alaskan.
That is the love and story behind Beer Powered Beer.
What does all that really mean?
It means that they have cutting edge technology to help them do that.
Since 1998, they have been recovering and re-using the carbon dioxide they use in making their beer during the fermentation process. This closed loop system means they don’t have to off-gas CO2 into the atmosphere.
Mash Filter Press
Their state-of-the-art mash filter press system filters the wort away from the spent grain and does it so efficiently that it saves roughly one to two million gallons of water per year, which would otherwise be flushed out as waste water. This water-saving effort enables them to conserve Alaska’s water resources and be more self-sufficient.
Because their brewery is the biggest user of water in Juneau; they want to be mindful of not over-taxing the infrastructure in town.
Spent Grain Boiler System
The brewery’s mash press filter enables the grain they use to be finely ground. This leftover spent grain, when injected and put into their new spent grain boiler’s furnace in the right way, can be used as fuel that creates steam, that is then used to heat beer on the brew deck to make the next batch of beer.
Many other breweries in other parts of the world sell their spent grain to nearby farmers, who then feed it to their cows. But, in Juneau, there are no cows!
Now that’s creative innovation!
For the Alaskan Brewing Company, it’s simple, really: The more beer they make, the more beer they can make – that’s the beauty of Beer Powered Beer.