Your Green Life: "Bent Paddle Brewery"

By KBJR News 1

June 26, 2014 Updated Jun 26, 2014 at 8:11 AM CDT

Duluth, MN
Bent Paddle in Duluth has been open for over a year now. Before they even opened the doors they wanted to have a sustainable business plan, not just for the beer making, but also for their employees.

Laura Mullen, the Co-Founder/VP Outreach and Events, told me,"I think that having your employees not touching toxic chemicals in the tap room or you know, considering their work–life balance. All of that is a part of a culture that is sustainable."

They use a green, non–toxic cleaner made from kelp in their tap–house.
They are also composting as much as they can, thanks to some help from WLSSD.

"The brewers drink a lot of coffee so all of the coffee grounds and filters are getting composted." says Mullen.

Left over grain after brewing is never wasted. Local farms pick up the spent grains for their livestock. Bent Paddle has also made efforts to reduce energy during the brewing process.

Bryon Tonnis, the Co-Founder/Director of Brewing Operations said, "We have 100% full on demand hot water system that are very efficient. We have variable frequency drives on all of our pumps that allow us to basically not run them at fully power all the time when we're using them."

When the beer is done fermenting, it's put into cans or reusable kegs. Mullen says they decided cans because they are infinitely recyclable and....

Mullen says, "They come to us on a semi–truck load and you can actually get 30% more into a truck"

"Then glass?" I ask.

"Then glass bottles, yup." Mullen replies.

This means less truck loads and less fuel used. The young brewery and tap house look at every detail and finds ways to green it up.

"Anything that we can think of that could have a bit more of an eco–edge we do and there is sometimes a higher price point, sometimes the give and take it negligible, it is just important to us so we take that extra step to research it and if we have to, pay for it." Mullen states.

Bent Paddle also hosts a food truck Thursday, where patrons can bring food into the tap house to enjoy. The vendors have worked with the brewery to make all the utensils compostable.

Meteorologist Adam Lorch