Settle back with our newsletter to keep up with the goings-on at Fort George.
Fort George Brewery is excited to release its first Sustainability Report. We believe what goes around comes around. And since you can’t manage what you don’t measure, our first step was to dive deep into our data and let it speak for itself. In 2016 we developed initial data tracking efforts to identify ways to further boost the contributions we make to the community and reduce our impact on the planet. We look forward to using this baseline report to reflect on what we are doing well and determine how we can improve over time. We hope you enjoy learning about our efforts. Now every time you drink a pint of Fort George beer you can appreciate it even more.
We are taking calculated, measured efforts to increase sustainability at Fort George. We understand that sustainability is all-encompassing. It means taking care of the people who work here and the community that supports us. It means taking into consideration the environmental impacts of our purchases and processes. Most importantly it means expressing gratitude to our loyal customers who enable our business to continue to grow and thrive.
This Karma Report is based on the 2016 calendar year. It summarizes our baseline metrics for operations and celebrates efforts over the year. Please feel free to reach out with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are committed to creating and maintaining a workplace in which all employees have an opportunity to participate and contribute to the success of the organization and are valued for their skills, experience, and unique perspectives.
BENEFITS & INCENTIVES
At Fort George our goal is to treat our employees well. In 2016 every employee who worked a 5 hour shift or more earned meal and drink credits.
All employees qualify for beer and merchandise discounts, are eligible for professional development opportunities, enjoy standing invitations to events and special releases, and benefit from paid sick time. In addition, all full-time employees are eligible for health insurance, paid vacation, an annual keg of Fort George beer, and our employee bike program.
In 2016 Fort George implemented an employee bike program. 33 employees took advantage of the opportunity to receive a Kona bicycle in exchange for a commitment to ride it to work at least 40 times over the following year. The goal is to promote a healthy and happy work environment, open up downtown parking spaces, and take dozens of cars off the roads. New memberships are always welcome and are open to any employee who has worked at least 35 hours per week in the previous year.
We believe purchasing local is our best option and strive to purchase ingredients grown without harmful pesticides, herbicides, or hormones whenever feasible. One way we minimize our carbon footprint is by limiting emissions associated with transportation. But it’s more than just that – from our clean water to our beautiful landscapes, the Northwest inspires some amazing ingredients and we want to keep them close to home.
We have always sourced the vast majority of our grain and hops from the Pacific Northwest. Our beer is truly a local product. We distribute our beer only in Oregon, Washington, and Idaho, further reducing transportation emissions.
Remaining local is better for the Northwest and better for the beer.
At the public house, our organic salad greens, beef, and pork are all Oregon grown and raised. From guest beers and wines all the way down to condiments, we source regionally to celebrate the availability of wonderful local ingredients.
This year we also entered a seasonal partnership with Blackberry Bog Farm to grow us the freshest chicken available. Chickens come to us from 20 miles away on the same day they are butchered. They are free range, hormone and chemical free chickens from day one. They are delicious. We purchase potatoes from Organically Grown and use non-GMO oil in our fryers. We work with local foragers for mushrooms or sea beans in specialty dishes.
Starting in January, 2016, Fort George designated the last Tuesday of every month Benefit Night at the public house. These events rallied non-profits, their supporters, and Fort George to raise over $90,000 in cash donations for local groups. Fort George contributed an additional $40,000 in goods and services to local and regional non-profits and fundraisers. Our goal is to provide support for organizations with a focus on education, human services, arts & culture, and the environment. If you know of a local organization that would be a good fit, please direct them to our Benefit Night page.
THURSDAY NIGHT LECTURE SERIES
From October through May, Fort George hosts a free community education lecture series in the Lovell Showroom. The Thursday Lecture Series features presentations from a rotating group of local organizations including the Astoria Co-Op, Clatsop Community College, Oregon Film Museum, The North Coast Watershed Council, Lewis and Clark National Historic Park, and the Philosofarian talks on Wit and Wisdom.
This year we also started reaching out to other businesses, our local government, and community members about working together to advance sustainability initiatives throughout Astoria. Our current focus is on solid waste and recycling issues. Please reach out if you are interested in participating.
OREGON BREWSHED ALLIANCE
We are proud to have signed on as a charter member supporting the Oregon Brewshed Alliance. From the inception in April of 2015, their mission has been to protect watersheds throughout the State of Oregon.
Fort George joined in the Brewshed Brewfest in 2016, and we plan to expand our partnership in 2017.
The Brewer’s Association released their first Sustainability Benchmarking Report in 2016. In all, 72 breweries and brewpubs provided data for energy, water, and solid waste usage per packaged barrel of beer. We compared our usage against other similar sized breweries, falling between the range of 10,000 and 100,000 barrels of beer produced annually.
We established our baseline Key Performance Indicators for both electricity and natural gas. Gas usage is directly tied to hot water. Future efficiency improvements in water use will subsequently result in greater gas efficiencies.
Energy Trust of Oregon and Oregon Energy Green provided us with complete analyses of any remaining areas to increase efficiency at Fort George Brewery.
In 2016 we started small. We increased our use of occupancy sensors to reduce unnecessary lighting, and introduced vintage LED bulbs in our pub to use less energy without losing the atmosphere we love.
We proudly joined Blue Sky at 100%, increasing our commitment to renewable energy consumption by offsetting our usage through a monthly fee that supports renewable energy development. Look forward to learning about more energy efficiency efforts in 2017.
A common number for breweries to look at is their beer to water ratio, also known as water intensity. This might be a badge of honor for some or an area needing improvement for others. Just how much water are we using to make a barrel of beer?
In the brewery we’ve begun measuring our water use more closely to analyze our brewing processes. Over time this will allow us to decrease our ratio of water used for making beer.
Going forward we will look into what kinds of equipment and process improvements might help us to be more efficient with our water use.
In our restaurant we’ve looked for water savings. A new pressure reducing station was installed to improve the lifespan of gaskets and reduce dripping faucets. We installed low flow spray nozzles for dishwashing and sensor operated sinks in our bathrooms.
SOLID WASTE AND RECYCLING
Our overall solid waste recovery rate is 96.9%. We had just under 2 million pounds of waste materials to manage in 2016, with grain being 89% of our waste by weight. We sent the spent grain from the brewery to a local dairy farm.
Currently we don’t have access to a commercial composting facility. But we reduced the amount of organic material sent to landfill by diverting kitchen-generated food scraps to a local pig farm, starting in June 2016. Those happy pigs eat around 160 pounds of scraps per week. By recovering over 4,000 pounds of food this year we’ve avoided methane emissions (from food breaking down in landfills) equivalent to driving over 18,000 miles. And by transporting this to a local farm, instead of all the way to Riverbend Landfill, we’ve avoided additional transportation emissions.
We self-haul some bulk plastics that we cannot recycle at the curb and sell bales of other materials to a commodities recycler. Overall, in Clatsop County, the recovery rate is about 40%. At Fort George our recovery rate (without spent grain factored in) is 72%. Weight assumptions for commingled recycling (260 pounds) and commercial garbage (138 pounds per cubic yard) come from EPAs 2016 conversion chart.
WASTE STREAM DISTRIBUTION
-Tackle solid waste and recycling at our biggest event, Festival of Dark Arts, with a recovery rate goal of 85%
-Chip away at energy efficiency measures suggested to us by ETO and Oregon Energy Green.
-Reduce water used on the canning line by rinsing cans with ionized air instead of water
-Establish deeper, more meaningful social and environmental values in writing
-Complete the B Corps Assessment to see how we measure up and look for additional areas for improvement
-Prepare to break ground on our new warehouse in a manner that minimizes environmental impact.
If you’d like your organization to be considered for a benefit night, complete this benefit application and submit it for review.Learn More
If you’d like to request a donation from Fort George, complete this form and submit it for review.Learn More
Settle back with our newsletter to keep up with the goings-on at Fort George.
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