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Craft Beer & The New Industrial Revolution

Austin, TX-based writer and historian James McWilliams will moderate a discussion with representatives from the craft brewing industry and review how leaders in this industry, known in the past for a negative ecological track record, are changing the face of industrial production in the 21st century. Among the brewers featured will be New Belgium Brewing whose sustainable business practices enable them to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and whose production wastewater processing results in electricity and thermal energy. Their smart grid technology enables them to communicate with local utilities and reduce the strain on the grid for the local municipality. Also joining us will be representatives from Whip In Brewery of Austin, Karbach Brewing Company of Houston and Fremont Brewing Company in Seattle. McWilliams' article on the subject, "The Ecological Creed of Craft Beer", appeared in the Spring 2014 issue of University of Washington's Conservation Magazine.

Additional Supporting Materials


  1. Provide context - explain how and why early leaders in craft brewing set the stage for embracing environmental practices
  2. Describe specific initiatives and sustainable business practices craft brewers have created and adopted and what positive impact this has had to their triple bottom line (financial, social and environmental). Specific examples will be cited and discussed.
  3. Inspire specific questions by the audience regarding issues they are facing in their industry, what takeaways from this session could be incorporated into their business practices and discuss how any local, state and federal regulations may either facilitate or be a hurdle to overcome.
  4. Unveil and spotlight new stories in other industries or new little known sustainable business practices that can inspire new approaches in industrial production that help lower greenhouse gas emissions, become more energy efficient, reduce waste and help with other challenges faced by manufacturing and production when looking for solutions to achieve a positive triple bottom line.



Debra Bouchegnies, owner, dbCreative Services Group, LLC

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