Why Lagunitas Shines a Spotlight on its Sustainability

At the start of June, Lagunitas and Toast Ale — an organization that makes planet-saving beer brewed with surplus bakery bread — collaborated with Alvarado Street Bakery to create an exclusive, limited-edition brew, The Toast of Petaluma, to help raise awareness to how breweries can lessen grain use by using bread in place of some malted barley.  

Lagunitas is also making a difference beyond this partnership and shared with Brewer why. 

“I think we can all observe the impact we are having on the environment, be it the huge amounts of precipitation in California over the winter or the fires in Canada causing large swaths of the United States to look like a dystopian hellscape,” said Bryan Donaldson, Lagunitas’ Brewing Innovation Manager. “With that in mind, why not try to lessen your impact? We have the ability to try to do and be better, so let’s do it. Food waste is a huge issue, so we work to close that circle where we can. Vehicle emissions are way too high, so we partnered with the closest bakery of the size that would have the supply we needed (5.2 miles away).”

The brewery also looks to sell spent grains and yeast at a significant discount to provide quality nutritional feed to farm animals in its communities. This keeps approximately 12 million pounds of waste out of landfills annually and reduces the demand for crops grown specifically for animal feed. In addition, Lagunitas only works with sustainable suppliers, recycles more than 100,000 pounds of materials per month, uses renewable energy from solar systems and an anaerobic bio-digester, treats 100% of its wastewater on-site, and maintains an overall focus on reducing waste. 

READ MORE: Ways To Get Started With Sustainability Self Reporting

Since 2016, Toast shared that it has avoided 61 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, freed up 260,000 square meters of land, saved 100,914 gallons of water, and used more than 3 million slices of surplus bread.

As a brand and company that was established in Petaluma, CMO Paige Guzman said supporting and maintaining that community as a great place to work and live has been an integral part of Lagunitas’ business since the early days. 

“Lagunitas Brewing Company has taken great pride in our commitment to reducing our environmental impact,” Guzman said. “Today we continue that work by creating a more resilient and regenerative craft beer industry through a range of different initiatives from a Brew partnership like this with Toast to working with sustainable supplier partners to reduce landfill waste by providing our spent grains & yeast to be sold at local farms.”

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