An appreciation for the environment, both local and global, drives our commitment to sustainability. It begins with a connection to the the trails, farms, and historic villages that surround us and translates into a sense of responsibility for the health of our planet. Here are just a few of the ways we're putting our commitment into action:
Our 100KpW solar array generates enough electricity to power 50% of our brewing operations. For a relatively small company, that is the big leagues of sustainability—the size of our new solar array ranks us as #4 solar microbrewery in the nation—and #1 in Virginia and the 5 state area.
Our first investment in sustainability was to install a state of the art geothermal system. Eighteen 500-foot deep geothermal wells under our parking lot are connected to twelve geothermal heat pumps for heating and cooling our taproom, offices, as well as the adjacent businesses. Geothermal enables us to reduce our environmental footprint by using a third less energy than conventional heating and cooling systems.
Energy Efficient Brewing
Because hot water is used throughout the brewing process we make an effort to conserve both heat and water as we brew. We’ve invested in a series of heat exchangers that capture excess heat where it is created, and send it where it is needed. Whether cooling our wort or sanitizing our equipment, we make sure no heat goes to waste.
High Efficiency Boiler
We’ve installed a special black box heat exchanger on our boiler to capture heat from exhaust that would otherwise have escaped into the air. With the help of a pump and some extra piping, this heat is ‘recycled’ and is used to preheat water in our brewing process.
Old Bust Head Brewing is among the first craft breweries in the country and the first brewery in Virginia to implement carbon capture technology. This technology allows Old Bust Head to capture waste carbon dioxide (CO2) produced during fermentation and reuse it in other stages of the brewing process where CO2 is required. Our recaptured CO2 is processed for consumption and has fewer impurities than commercial CO2—so it's better for the planet and makes better beer!
In addition to low flow bathroom fixtures and a water-efficient dishwasher we’ve installed an inline filter on our bottling line that captures, filters, and reuses our rinse water. This, along with conscientious brewing practices, has enabled us to reduce the amount of water we use to brew a barrel of beer to 2/3 of the industry average.
The greenest building is the one that is already there. That's why we feel good about giving new life to some old military warehouses at Vint Hill, repurposing them as our brewhouse, warehouse, offices and taproom.
We’ve installed LED lighting in our taproom and packaging warehouse—and have converted all the metal halide lights in our production warehouse to bright white LEDs. LED’s use 1/3 the energy of other bulbs and last up to 5 times longer reducing what we put into the landfill.
Sustainability & Community