In a recent article, Solaron mentioned the commitment of Anheuser-Busch InBev to switch to 100% renewable energy sources. Of course, we realize that your choice of beer may not necessarily influence your personal choices for electricity, but just in case our article made your favorite beer selection feel left out, here are some other California brewers using the energy of the sun to drive their brewing.
Anderson Valley Brewing Company in Northern California installed rooftop solar panels way back in 2006. Still going strong, these photovoltaic cells provide 40% of the energy needed for their operations. Says owner Trey White, “I think it’s important that all companies be responsible for impacting the environment in a positive way.” It’s the tenth largest craft brewery solar installation in the United States.
Bear Republic Brewing in Sonoma County actually lets users of their website track the amount of photovoltaic energy produced by their solar array, a feature you can have too if you install a solar system from SunPower on top of your house with help from Solaron. They rank seventh among American craft brewers in solar capacity.
Golden Road Brewing, an Anheuser-Busch company in Anaheim, covered its roof and parking lot in 2019 with enough solar panels to provide up to 40% of its electricity needs. The move made sense because increased production demands faced higher energy costs, requiring a change to maintain profit levels. Combined with the previously mentioned goals of Anheuser-Busch InBev, Golden Road made the push to add photovoltaic energy this year.
Lagunitas Brewing Company in Petaluma provides 50% of its electricity needs from solar power. While many have seen “car port” solar panels above parking lots, a farm owned by the company sits next to the Lagunitas brewery. Sheep and cows graze on the fields, yet the brewer still wanted to expand the electricity production, so they solved the issue by creating “cow port” solar panels. According to communications director Karen Hamilton, “while [the cow port] covers an acre of land, it allows us to be able to use that acre for cattle and sheep grazing, and it also gives those guys place to get out of the sun sometimes and hang in the shade.” The animals probably enjoy eating their share of the spent brewery grain too! They take third place for installed solar power capacity at a brewery in the U.S.
MillerCoors is the famous national competitor of Anheuser-Busch InBev and while their focus is on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sources, they too have devoted significant land and resources to solar energy. Their Irwindale brewery in Southern California produces more than 7 million cans of beer using the electricity from the largest photovoltaic array installed “at any U.S. brewery.”
Sierra Nevada is one of the largest craft brewers and also can brag that they have the largest solar array for a craft brewery, and second for U.S. breweries overall, namely at their location in Chico, California. The facility provides 20% of the factory’s total electricity needs, and 100% during periods of peak solar efficiency.
Rounding out this list of solar-powered breweries in California is Stone Brewing of San Diego County. Another early adopter of solar technology, their 2008 photovoltaic array generates 20% of their electricity needs, saving about 1.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere. In 2009, after a number of months of watching their energy production numbers, they made this statement: “We won’t start reaping the benefits for about 6-8 years. However, we’ve decided that the long-term benefits will far outweigh the initial cost.” Their rooftop PV system ranks them fourth among American craft brewers for solar energy production.
If you would like to do more than just lift a pint, and also lift up some solar panels by building your own rooftop array, contact Solaron of Sacramento for information about SunPower solar energy systems. With our help, you can follow the example of these fine purveyors of California’s new gold rush by taking advantage of our other golden asset — free power from the Sun!