Believer is a 2014 Good Food Award Finalist!Nov 22, 2013 Comments (0)
Earlier this week, we learned that our little Believer is a finalist for a 2014 Good Food Award! This is a HUGE honor because this award recognizes Ninkasi, not just for making some pretty stellar beer, but for using social and environmentally responsible business practices to do this.
The Good Food Awards “take a comprehensive view, honoring people who make food that is delicious, respectful of the environment, and connected to communities and cultural traditions.” If the criteria for the Good Food Awards sound eerily familiar to our company’s philosophy, it’s because they truly are exactly in-line with how we aspire to brew our beer. We hope that if you’ve tried our beer, we can all agree that we’ve got the delicious part covered. While the other parts of this statement might not be as obvious to you as you grab a bottle of Total Domination off the shelves, sustainability and community are actually integral parts of our identity as a brewery and things we aim to achieve on a daily basis. Here’s a little glimpse into some of the ways we do this:
We know that we’re brewing a lot of beer, tens of thousands of barrels a year! We obviously do not want to generate a lot of waste as we brew all this beer. We’ve implemented many sustainability measures around the brewery to prevent this from happening and to help us tread lightly on the environment, including:
- Solar panels on the roof to generate up to 8% of the energy needed to run the brewery
- Reclaiming and reusing cooling water from the brewing process to use in multiple batches
- Rinsing our tanks with short bursts instead of a continuous water flow to conserve water
- Purchasing Water Restoration Credits in partnership with Bonneville Environmental Foundation to help restore our water footprint. In 2012, we were able to help re-stream the Middle Deschutes River with 5,000,000 gallons of water! We also purchase carbon offsets to help farmers build biodigesters so they can turn cow waste into renewable energy.
- Taking critical steps to design our expansion with the environment in mind, aiming to meet Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) certifications
- Partnering with a local farmers through Oregon Natural Meats, so our spent grain can be fed to local cattle
Do you know why Nikos and Jamie chose the name Ninkasi for the brewery? Ninkasi was the ancient Sumerian goddess of fermentation, and the Sumerians treated beer as much more than a delicious beverage. It was a way to bring the community together and share experiences, celebrations, and passions. This emphasis on community, culture and society through beer is exactly what Nikos and Jamie wanted from the beer that Ninkasi brewed! A few of the ways we work to boost community:
- Established a core purpose to Perpetuate Better Living and aim to run a brewery that does just that all day, every day!
- Started our Beer is Love donations program to support community organizations and help raise awareness and funds for these groups. In 2012 alone, we partnered with over 600 organizations! This year we are looking at a total count of more than 700 organizations!
- Invite local food carts and vendors to sell their food at the brewery, both in the Tasting Room and on our patio.
- Host Pints for a Cause nights twice a week at the brewery to donate 25% of pint sales to local community groups and encourage our retailers in every region that we sell our beer to do the same.
- Source almost exclusively local ingredients and supplies. If we can get it locally, we do! From the liquid to the packaging, most everything at Ninkasi comes from the Northwest!
The winners of this award will be announced in January. Check back then to see how Believer did, although we’re already so proud of it for getting this far with such an important recognition!