Brews From the Sun Competition Inspires Solar Energy Usage

This year’s Brews from the Sun results are in, with over 12,000 voters participating in a competition to crown America’s favorite solar-powered craft breweries.

The three categories included eight brewpub competitors, 21 microbreweries, and 15 regional breweries.

Canal Park Brewing Company barely made the deadline to enter the competition, as it only finished installing solar panels in April. 

We were so shocked and thrilled to win,” Kris Grant of Canal Park said, after the Duluth, Minnesota brewery won the brewpub category. “It really showed us how supportive people are of renewable energy in our area.”

Being a local family business, Grant said community and family are important to the brewery.

In order to go solar, Canal Park had set aside money for the last several years.

We also got assistance from Energy Insight and a few other advisers that know the solar industry,” Grant said. “They helped us select the right system and size to get the best bang for our buck. We also had support from MN Power through their energy savings programs, especially solar, as well as some incentives from the federal government.”

Even before that, the brewery has been active in being environmentally conscious.

“If you look at the history of our brewery, you’ll see that we spent a lot of time and money just cleaning up the property’s soil contamination from prior businesses, before we even started building,” Grant said. “We also participate in beach clean-ups, compost our food waste, use biodegradable straws, and the list goes on.”

“We’ve been working towards installing solar since we opened in 2012, so just getting the panels up and running was a huge win for us,” added co-owner Paul Kaz. “Winning American’s Favorite Solar Craft Brewpub was icing on the cake.”

Shaidzon Beer Company has used the competition as a marketing tool for two years now, and it’s been using solar energy since its opening in November, 2017.

We love the fact that the building is solar powered as we support the efforts to work toward more us of renewable energy,” said Chip Samson of Shaidzon. 

Speaking for Shaidzon’s landlord, Samson said the reason for going solar was to be more cost effective and to lower fossil fuel usage.

“Our landlords went solar, and we had the good fortune of moving into a space right after it went live with solar energy,” he said. At its inception, Shaidzon was the only solar-powered brewery in the state of Rhode Island.

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