We’re not trying to say that either of our fearless leaders are the next Captain Planet. (Not that Ryan and Chris couldn’t pull off the blue body paint/red speedo combo.) Truth is — they’re just regular guys who run a brewery, doing what they can to take pollution DOWN TO ZERO! (Sorry – that Captain Planet theme song is just so catchy.)
Last year, in Conservation magazine writer James McWilliams called brewing a “quintessential artifact of rust-belt industrialism” and, therefore, hardly the field that should pop to mind when talking sustainability.
McWilliams went on to describe craft brewers as leaders in environmental policy who live by an unspoken creed: there’s no use making good beer if the planet’s screwed. (We’re paraphrasing.)
At CMBC, we’re on board with that. And in the spirit of Earth Day, we figured we’d give you a rundown of our most earth-friendly trivia…
- We made the move to pint glasses in our tasting room last year, because we got so sick of seeing plastic cups piled high in our brewery. Remember: glassy is classy.
- We source local ingredients whenever we can. Most recently, we’ve commissioned a nearby farmer for two malting varieties of Jersey barley grown over 35 acres of a sixth generation, preserved farm that adheres to the environmentally-friendly guidelines of IPM, or Integrated Pest Management. “Of course the soil a crop is grown it affects its taste,” we were told recently by one of the farm’s partners. “It’s the reason people go nuts for Jersey tomatoes, and it will be the same for Jersey barley.” Meanwhile, some of our hops will be coming from another local farm in the very near future.
- Ryan’s high school science teacher claimed to be the son of the guy who launched Earth Day. So there’s that.
- Our Honey Porter is the only beer in the state to have achieved the Jersey Fresh designation from the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. In every 15 barrel batch are 90 pounds of local, sustainable honey.
- Chris’ hometown of Merchantville has been named a ‘Tree City USA’ by the National Arbor Day Foundation over 35 times. So there’s also that.
- We turn trash into treasure. This is the case with much of our equipment over the past four years (our original brewhouse was put together with scrap metal and dented keg shells, and our bottling line has been fashioned out of used parts, too.) This is also true with some of our ingredients — the beach plum skins we’ll be using for our upcoming Beach Plum Ale are coming to us after they’ve been pressed for the making of locally-sold jams and wines.
- We give our spent grain to local farmers whenever we can and, in turn, they use it to feed their pigs and chickens. So… it’s possible you’ve been sitting at the bar of a Jersey restaurant “drinking a beer made with the grain used to feed the chicken that’s now on your plate,” explained Ryan at his 2013 TEDx Cape May talk. “It’s this sick and twisted circle of life.”
- In our brewing, we sometimes utilize wild yeast that’s been growing on the wild grapes right outside our brewery. No shipping involved!
- People love filling up their reusable CMB growlers in our tasting room – and reusing would make Captain Planet very happy.
Finally, thanks to our fans for being green, too. “People down here are pretty tuned in,” says Chris. “And that goes for Cape May Brewery’s clientele.”