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Innovative Partnership with Local Breweries Identifies Energy Savings Opportunities

Shout out to groundbreaking energy savers in the local brewing industry that participated in the Asheville-Buncombe Sustainable Microbrewery Initiative as a part of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Advance Program. Asheville-Buncombe Air Quality Agency, UNC Asheville, Land of Sky Waste Reduction Partners, EPA Region 4, and four local microbreweries: Cellarest Beer Project, Hi-Wire Brewing, River Arts District Brewing, and Wicked Weed Brewing came together to study energy efficiency in the local brewery industry.

Led by Ava Ingle, an Environmental Studies student at UNC Asheville, the research analyzed energy consumption in microbreweries. The study identified potential savings in refrigeration and steam generation systems that could help breweries avoid 309,336 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually and save $25,827 in utility costs. Ava Ingle, Cellarest Beer Project, Hi-Wire Brewing, River Arts District Brewing, and Wicked Weed Brewing were recognized as groundbreaking energy savers during the Asheville Beer Week educational series with support from the Asheville Brewers Alliance, Big Mountain Impact, Blue Horizons Project, Duke Energy, Sugar Hollow Solar, and Wicked Weed Brewing. 

In the future, it is recommended that breweries continue to identify opportunities to save energy as part of a constant improvement mindset and that other breweries seeking to prioritize energy efficiency use the Energy Star Treasure Hunt tool and consider taking the Energy Star Challenge by pledging to reduce their energy intensity by 10% within 5 years. Companies that meet the goal can submit data and receive additional recognition from the US EPA.

Asheville-Buncombe Air Quality Agency and partners would like to thank the four breweries for their participation and commitment and encourage other breweries to look at their operations to find changes they can make to be more energy-efficient. Asheville-Buncombe Air Quality Agency is interested in continuing this work to advance more sustainable breweries as part of an annual summer internship. For more information on this initiative and to participate, contact

Left to Right: Joel Storrow, AB Air Quality Board Chairman, Ava Ingle, Lenoir-Rhyne University Graduate Student, Andrew Dagnan, Wicked Weed Brewing’s Director, Safety & Sustainability, Marshall Goers, Waste Reduction Partners Environmental Engineer, Robert “Lem” Lemer, River Arts District Brewing Founder & Head Brewer


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Updated May 24, 2024 03:13 PM
Published May 24, 2024 08:53 AM

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