The next round of beer innovations

Striving to use fewer resources is one way that breweries can lower their environmental impact. But breweries are also pioneering creative methods for repurposing waste from their process, transforming what would have been trash into new, usable materials. At Boulder, Colorado’s Upslope Brewing Co., this requires the help of some aquatic, neon-green algae. The algae float in the excess rinse water that’s used in the brewery’s canning line and are grown in jugs that reside between the brewery’s 120-barrel fermenters. A pilot program partnership with Boom Algae takes carbon dioxide and other waste byproducts of fermentation and feeds them to the algae. The algae is harvested and sold to Living Ink Technologies, which uses it to make a 100-percent biodegradable green ink. “It sounded wacky at first,” says Upslope’s founder Matt Cutter. “But we’re hoping this is successful and leads Boom Algae to the next step, where eventually it becomes something that can handle more or all of the CO2 from our brewery.”