NORTH HAMPTON – In addition to serving great food and beer, doing both in a sustainable way has always been an integral part of the business plan for retro brewery.
This vision was rewarded last week when the brewery was recognized as the the state’s leading sustainable craft beverage producer speak New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES).
At the launch of the new recognition program, the ministry asked craft beverage producers to highlight an environmental initiative in their business that reduces the amount of water, energy, waste or gas emissions to greenhouse effect it generates. Suffice it to say, Co-founders and owners of Throwback Nicole Carrier and Annette Lee might have needed an extra page or two to fill out the list.
“This project, when I look around and hear what’s been done, it checks every box,” said NHDES Commissioner Bob Scott, who presented Lee and Carrier with the award for environmental leadership. exceptional and their efforts in terms of sustainable development.
“It’s very exciting. I’m very excited about all the work you’ve done and can’t wait to see other industries emulate what you’ve done.”
Throwback Brewery built on sustainability
Since its inception in 2011, sustainability has always been a core value for Throwback, starting with a goal to source 100% of all their brewery and restaurant ingredients from businesses within 200 miles of the brewery. . With the acquisition of the picturesque Hobbs farm a year later, this lawsuit has only extended.
Along with the lofty goal of a 200-mile radius—no small task for a brewery located in New England—Lee and Carrier have made sustainability a key consideration. throughout the 18 acre farm.
The restaurant’s tables and flooring are made from wood, beams and planks salvaged from the barn during its renovation from a sheep farm to a prodigious brewery. Everything that looks like it’s been repurposed, even the slate tiles that are now used as panels for the farm stand and even scratching takeout orders during COVID.
This slate roof has also made way for 174 solar panels which generate up to 50% of the brewery’s electrical needs and have saved the brewery approximately $43,000 in costs since their installation.
Through sustainability practices, Throwback conserves and reuses 65,000 gallons of water per year. Through a process called lateral flow, Throwback is able to compost its wastewater onsite, significantly reducing the brewery’s septic footprint.
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Carrier was quick to notice that while sustainability has always been at the forefront since its beginnings in a small warehouse on Route 1, it was also a very important business decision that also paid big dividends. .
“The point I want to drive home is that we do this for a number of reasons,” Carrier said. “The first is that we can offset our carbon footprint, we think food and beer, as Bob (Scott) pointed out, tastes better, but that can also be a really good business decision.”
Throwback Brewery ‘set the standard’ for NH breweries
The New Hampshire Sustainable Craft Beverage Recognition Program is managed by the NHDES Pollution Prevention Program and operates in partnership with the New Hampshire Brewers Association. Kathy Black, the NHDES Pollution Prevention Program administrator, said he hopes to add a points system in the near future, giving breweries the chance to compete for top honors.
“Unfortunately, we hadn’t finalized the point system yet, so we can’t give Throwback a specific tier, but considering they’ve completed around 75% of the initiatives listed, I’m seeing gold. or platinum in their future,” Black said with a smile.
Whym Craft Brewery and Pub Co-owner Bob Levine, who also sits on the NH Brewers Association board of directors, made the short trip up Route 1 to Throwback to help give the presentation. Levine said he was pleased with the traction the program has received and, as a brewery owner, noted that Lee and Carrier have certainly set the bar high both locally and statewide. for sustainability practices.
“They really set the standard and showed great leadership for all breweries in New Hampshire, including ours,” Levine said. “It’s inspiring to see what they’ve done and it’s sobering how breweries in different situations that aren’t on farms can look at their own processes and achieve similar sustainability goals.”
Lee and Carrier, as well as NH Brewers Association Executive Director CJ Haines helped NHDES with its first brewery grant application with the United States Department of Environmental Protection Agency. The inaugural pollution prevention grant provided technical assistance to the microbrewery industry. Subsequently, a benchmarking system was developed to track energy and water usage by Black and his staff with assistance from the University of New Hampshire Brewery Science Program. Cheryl Parker, who runs the UNH program, was on hand for Tuesday’s recognition event and got her start at Throwback as a volunteer brewer several years ago.
“One hundred percent of the reason I sought to come to Throwback as a brewer was their durability,” Parker said. “These guys were doing everything I wanted to do and they were the guys I wanted to learn from.”
Today, Parker offers three sustainability courses for his brewing students and still looks to the practices Lee and Carrier taught him as teaching points for the next generation of brewers.
“One of my goals, I tell my students, is that if you’re going to open a place, you’re doing it in a way that’s going to make sense and be profitable, but you’re also doing right to the environment that goes hand in hand,” Parker said.
“I think when I give examples of sustainable design, I think almost all of my photos come from here.”