DEEP is excited to be getting back to our new normal consistent with the direction of Governor Lamont and as a result of the rapidly improving COVID-19 situation in Connecticut. Starting no later than June 1, all customer facing services will resume normal business operations. For detailed information for what this means at DEEP and for the public we serve, visit our "New Normal" website: DEEP New Normal Information

Sustainable Breweries

Header image showing beer and equipment at breweries. Environmental stewardship is paramount for the health and vitality of the craft brewing community” - John Stier, National Brewers Association website

Connecticut's breweries are a fast growing section, with over 100 operating throughout the state as of March 2021, and more planning to open soon. The brewing process is energy intensive, uses large amounts of water and generates high volumes of wastewater and organic wastes. There are many actions breweries can take to reduce their environmental footprint, prevent pollution, conserve natural resources and be a model of sustainability.  The CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is committed to providing assistance to breweries across the state to minimize waste, reduce pollution, promote energy efficiency resulting in lower greenhouse gas emissions, and encourage use of less toxic cleaning products.

Energy Efficiency

CT DEEP is working with UI and Eversource to assist breweries with reducing energy use and saving money. The Small Business Energy Advantage program can provide free onsite audits by an approved vendor to identify opportunities for savings. Other Commercial and Industrial efficiency programs may also be available, including the Energy Conscious Blueprint program for new or existing breweries that are undergoing major renovations.   

There are case studies from breweries in CT and New England highlighting improvements ranging from solar hot water heating systems, heat recovery, lighting, motor and compressor upgrades, pipe insulation, high efficiency refrigeration and more!

Wastewater Discharge

Wastewater discharges are regulated by CT DEEP and the local wastewater treatment facility (POTW). Beer making uses a significant amount of water and generates large amounts of high strength wastewater. It is important that breweries adhere to effluent limits set out in their general permits. Breweries can implement best management practices to reduce their high strength waste before sending to the treatment facility.  Assistance from DEEP's Pollution Prevention program is available at 860-424-3297 or email.

  • DEEP's webpage on Water Discharge Permits and General Permits provides information on permits and general permits.  Scroll down to the lower half of the page to the light blue "General Permits" heading and below you'll find links to the permit applications and fact sheets. Craft breweries that discharge greater than 1000 gallons a day (gpd) of wastewater to a sanitary sewer system on any day or craft breweries that transport any amount of wastewater to a sewage treatment plant will need to submit a Notification Form under the Miscellaneous Industrial Users GP. Only breweries that discharge greater than 25,000 gpd or have been deemed a Significant Industrial User by the DEEP Commissioner will need to register under the Significant Industrial Users GP
Waste and Organics Recycling

The brewing process generates a variety of wastes, including spent grains, spent yeast and tank bottoms. Separating out and collecting each waste steam allows them to be sent to an appropriate facility for reuse or disposal. Other wastes that breweries may generate include packaging, mandatory recyclables and scrap plate waste from dining, all of which can be diverted from trash. CT DEEP can provide assistance with setting up a program, including a site visit. Contact Caren Harder or Connie Mendolia 

Less Toxic Cleaning

Most breweries are using chemicals common in food applications for cleaning- and sanitizing-in-place. There are safer options than caustic sodium hydroxide. With the help of the Toxic Use Reduction Institute, craft brewers can find out about alternatives and read how one craft brewer now uses brewers wash at a lower temperature and volume to clean and uses NADCC tablets to sanitize.

Resources

1. Recent presentations 

2. Several neighboring states and beyond have been providing pollution prevention assistance to breweries, wineries and distilleries. They have compiled useful information ranging from supply chain sustainability to resource conservation. Check out the links below for case studies and other information: 

  • Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Center has put together a Topic Hub for Craft Brewing with pollution prevention opportunities and best practices for the craft brewing industry.

Page Updated April 2021