Applying Sustainability Goals to New Structures

Sustainability is a tenant in the way that Brewery Vivant thrives as an operation. It was the first LEED-certified brewery in the world and is a B Corp company. When Jason Spaulding decided to open Broad Leaf Local Beer as a “cousin” of the European Farmhouse Ale brewery in which it would make more modern styles and have a newer look, staying sustainable was still a part of the plan for the new endeavor.

“We didn’t go for the formal certification here,” he said during an interview with Brewer recently at the Kentwood, Michigan facility. “We just took everything we learned and applied it over here.”

Simple things, Spaulding said of the former warehouse that has a modern motif which includes using old storage crates as walls and an open floor concept with casual service and a food-truck theme kitchen.

“These floors are all the original concrete floors. You look at a space like this, like what do you do? Tile it?” he said shaking his head no. “We look environmentally, using less material is better. So we learned at the other place, polishing the floors worked really well. So we did that here. And, they’re beautiful.”

Broad Leaf put in some pretty advanced automation controls for heating, cooling and lighting as well.

“We can see it all and manage it, track it. So some things like that that we did even deeper here than from the original spot,” Spaulding said. “And technology’s increased quite a bit in those nine years since we got certified at Brewery Vivant. We got these big fans here. I keep the thermostats pretty low or high, depending on if it’s hot or cold. But those really do circulate the air.

“So all these little things like that have helped and having that experience over there let us know what the big things to look for over here and we’re able to kind of hit the ground running and build that into the infrastructure.”

Sometimes you don’t get a second chance to come back on doing it right and sustainable the first time, he noted. Although they do have solar panels at Vivant, they don’t have them at Broad Leaf.

“But eventually maybe we will get,” he said. “But we can’t do everything we want all at once.”

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