A Green Heads Up for Redhook Brewery

Deconstructed by Mike Bizier and Mike Bellamente / June, 2017

Redhook Brewery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is a popular Seacoast destination. Of course their wide array of tasty suds is a draw, but look beyond the tap, and you’ll find many more reasons to admire Redhook.

The brewery’s effort to reduce its environmental impact is well known. But in addition, Redhook is actually a founding partner of the Craft Brew Alliance (CBA), comprised of eight companies all committed to sustainability. CBA began in 2008 as a merger between Seattle-based Redhook Brewery and Widmer Brothers Brewing of Portland, Oregon, and now includes two more Portland establishments, Omission Beer and Square Mile Cider, plus Hawaii’s Kona Brewing Company, the official beer of the Chive.com, as well as partners Appalachian Mountain Brewery of North Carolina and Nantucket’s Cisco Brewers.

In 2013, CBA released their first annual sustainability report outlining the environmental goals and achievements of the organization. “For a long time we have had this commitment and we have been taking action toward reducing our carbon footprint, but we haven’t necessarily been sharing our goals and progress publicly,” says CBA’s sustainability manager Julia Person. “Now we’re starting to see companies release sustainability reports and talking about their efforts, and I think if this continues to happen, it will push more and more companies to do the same.”

By embracing a completely transparent approach to sustainability, CBA has not only witnessed results company-wide , but has also seen tremendous leadership coming from the Redhook Brewery in Portsmouth. Among the brewery’s environmental successes is how Redhook reduced their greenhouse gas emissions significantly in 2015 by purchasing Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), sourced from wind power, to meet 100 percent of the brewery’s electricity load. This earned Redhook recognition as an EPA Green Power Partner and acceptance into the Green Power Leadership Club.

The commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is also reflected in Redhook’s support as signatory of Boston-based A Green Thumbs up for Redhook Brewery nonprofit Ceres’ Brewery Climate Declaration, a coalition of like-minded breweries engaged in actively addressing climate change. Beyond their climate commitments, the Redhook Cataqua Pub is two-star certified by the Green Restaurant Association for the environmentally conscious design decisions utilized throughout the restaurant. In order to achieve this designation, Redhook has committed to purchasing high recycled content, compostable containers, and 100-percent postconsumer waste paper that is Forest Stewardship Council certified.

Employee engagement is another way that Redhook drives results for sustainability initiatives, with pub employee education on green restaurant initiatives. “It really helps everyone feel a sense of ownership for our brewery’s environmental efforts,” says Tietjen Hynes, operations project engineer at the brewery. “Instead of just having a top-level commitment from headquarters, we all have the ability to engage as agents of change in reducing our operational impact.”

As a Business Partner with the Green Alliance, a network of local, sustainable businesses and consumer members across New England, Redhook’s Portsmouth location celebrated Earth Day 2015 by holding a cleanup of Pease International Tradeport to support the Hodgson Brook Watershed, the grounds on which the brewery is located. The cleanup was followed by a Party for the Planet, cosponsored by the Green Alliance in conjunction with Ben Cohen’s Stamp Stampede. Attendees enjoyed a specialty Earth Day IPA and received a raffle ticket for every grocery bag of trash returned.

For Earth Day 2016, the brewery celebrated Redhook’s company-wide Paper Cuts initiative, which aims to save one-third of paper used, by planting a tree in the community for each tree saved and by creating a community rain garden at Pease Tradeport.

Aside from all the feel-good aspects of the brewery’s environmental actions, there are pure economic reasons for going green, including savings of nearly $300,000 in 2014 through company-wide sustainability efforts. “Our company is demonstrating that sustainability is not just good for the planet and for the community, but it’s also good for our business,” Person says.

Redhook Brewery, redhook.com
Craft Brew Alliance, craftbrew.com
Green Alliance, greenalliance.biz