Settle back with our newsletter to keep up with the goings-on at Fort George.
At Fort George Brewery we believe what goes around comes around. When you drink a pint of Fort George beer we want you to appreciate the aroma, the taste, and the sustainable efforts of the people who brewed it. But you can’t manage what you don’t measure, so the first step is to gather the pertinent information, build baselines, and dive deep into the data.
We are taking measured efforts to increase sustainability at Fort George. We understand that this is a constantly evolving process. Sustainability is not about the world today; it is about how we leave it for tomorrow. This means we must invariably be looking for ways to improve with regards to the environment, the economy, and the community.
Our Sustainability Report is based on the 2017 calendar year. It summarizes our baseline metrics for operations and celebrates achievements over the year. Please feel free to reach out with any questions at firstname.lastname@example.org
At Fort George we focus on our people. 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. We celebrate our employees for their skills, experience, and unique perspectives.
BENEFITS & INCENTIVES
In 2017, every employee earned meal and beverage credits for every hour worked. 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, enrollment in the company retirement plan, and our employee bike program.
In 2016, Fort George implemented an employee bike program. That first year 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. In 2017, 28 employees participated in this program. The goal is to promote a healthy and happy work environment, open up downtown parking spaces, and reduce our carbon footprint. The bike program is open to any employee who has averaged at least 35 hours per week in the previous year.
We make buying local a priority. We 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 – the Pacific 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.
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, but most importantly 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 or other hyper-local ingredients in specialty dishes.
Fort George has designated the last Tuesday of every month Benefit Night at the public house. These events rallied nonprofits, the brewery, and the community, helping to raise over $133,000 in cash donations for local charities in 2017. Fort George contributed an additional $35,000 in goods and services last year, all helping local and regional nonprofits raise money at their fundraisers. Our goal is to provide support for organizations with a focus on education, human services, arts & culture, and the environment. If you know 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 series in the Lovell Showroom. The Thursday Talks feature presentations from a rotating group of local organizations including Clatsop Community College, Clatsop County Historical Society, The North Coast Watershed Council, Lewis and Clark National Historic Park, the Brewshed Alliance, and the Philosofarian talks on Wit & Wisdom.
In 2017 we also started reaching out to other businesses, our local government, and community members about working together to advance sustainability initiatives throughout Astoria and Warrenton. 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 has participated in the Brewshed Brewfest since 2016 and we plan to continue our partnership in the years to come.
The Brewer’s Association released their first Sustainability Benchmarking Report in 2016. We have used these reports as a comparison for our own usage and to look for areas of improvement. Last year 78 breweries and brewpubs provided data for energy, water, and solid waste usage per packaged barrel of beer. These breweries fell into our size range, producing between 10,000 to 100,000 barrels of beer 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 increased our use of occupancy sensors to reduce unnecessary lighting. And we introduced vintage LED bulbs in our pub to use less energy without losing the atmosphere we love. In 2017, we installed an energy efficient walk-in cooler for hop and keg storage.
We are a proud member of Blue Sky at 100% contribution. This increases our commitment to renewable energy consumption and offsetts our usage through a monthly fee that supports renewable energy development.
A common number breweries look at is 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?
We’ve begun measuring our water use more closely, scrutinizing all of our brewing processes. Over time this will allow us to decrease the ratio of water used for making beer.
Going forward we will look into equipment and process improvements that might help us to be more efficient with our water use.
In our restaurants we’ve added a new pressure reducing station to improve the lifespan of gaskets and reduce dripping faucets. We installed low flow spray nozzles for dishwashing and motion-sensored faucets in the bathrooms.
SOLID WASTE AND RECYCLING
Our overall solid waste recovery rate is 97.3%. We had just under 2.5 million pounds of waste materials to manage in 2017, with spent grain being 90% of our waste by weight. All of the spent grain from the brewery goes to a local dairy farm.
Currently we don’t have access to a commercial composting facility, but we worked to get residential curbside composting collection started in our community. We have reduced the amount of organic material sent to landfill by diverting kitchen-generated food scraps to a local pig farm (started in June 2016). Those happy pigs eat around 145 pounds of scraps per week. By recovering over 7,500 pounds of food this year we’ve avoided methane emissions (from food breaking down in landfills) equivalent to driving almost 35,000 miles. Also, by transporting these scraps to a local farm instead of the 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 62.3%. Weight assumptions for commingled recycling (260 pounds) and commercial garbage (138 pounds per cubic yard) come from EPAs 2017 conversion chart.
WASTE STREAM DISTRIBUTION
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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