St Austell Brewery creates special green brew for Celtic Beer Festival

St Austell Brewery is celebrating the work of its environmental evangelists with a special green brew for this year’s Celtic Beer Festival, crafted by Alison Williams and Mike Goff from the Port William hotel at Trebarwith.

Green Hopped Pilsener was made using First Gold hops freshly picked and still green from Stocks Farm, Worcestershire for the occasion and Alison and Mike won the chance to create the special brew after picking up first prize in a Brewery-sponsored Green Champions competition.

Run across the summer, the competition tasked all the company’s managed pubs and hotels to record their environmental activities on social media and Williams was nominated by Goff, her manager at the Port William, after dramatically reducing the amount of food waste sent to landfill from the pub by as much as 1200kg in the busy tourist month of August.

Thanks to her amazing efforts, Williams and Goff joined St Austell brewing team leader Rob Orton in the Small Batch for a day to remember at the mash tun and the result of their efforts, the flavoursome Green Champion Pilsener lager, will make its debut at this year’s Celtic Beer Festival on Saturday 25 November. Pictured left to right is Mike Goff, Rob Freight, Alison Williams and Rob Orton at the tun.

Delighted with their day’s work, Mike Goff commented, “It’s been brilliant to be involved with the brew from the ground up. Selling great beer to customers in the pub is one thing but to know that you had a hand in making the beer they are drinking is just great. We’re really looking forward to trying it out at the beer festival.”

Sustainability has long been at the heart of St Austell Brewery’s South West operations, with solar panels producing energy at the company’s headquarters and St Columb CDC distribution centre from as far back as 2012.

In 2016, those panels enabled the Brewery’s main distribution hub to go completely grid free for over half a year as well as give back enough energy to power 1,000 family homes.

Through investment and innovation in the Brewhouse, the company has drastically reduced the amount of resources required to make a pint of the South West’s favourite beers; in 2011, it took 17Kwh to produce a barrel of beer whereas it now takes just 3.6Kwh.

The Brewery is involved in the latest initiatives to source locally and sustainably, like being part of Cornwall Wildlife Trust’s Cornwall Good Seafood Guide, while 2016 also saw the signing of a new deal to outsource the company’s waste management to three family-run operations across the South West, all working to a 0% to landfill policy.

None of these amazing things would be possible if it weren’t for the dedication of the Brewery’s Green Champions – staff from across the company’s operations who look out for any opportunity to save energy, such as through the replacement of high wattage bulbs for LED, overseeing beach cleans and other environmental initiatives in their neighbourhoods.

Under the guidance of Brewery compliance officer, Rob Freight, these environmental evangelists do their best to ensure the continued drive for sustainable operations work at ground level and that the Brewery’s partnerships with organisations such as the Clean Cornwall campaign have real bite locally.

The Brewery competition was set up to give the Green Champions the chance to showcase their environmental initiatives through social media, with the chance to create their very own green brew for the Celtic Beer Festival up for grabs as the prize.

As Rob said, “Our Green champions really are at the heart of everything we do to be more sustainable in our operations and form a fundamental part of our corporate social responsibility to look after our countryside and our local environment. As the Celtic Beer Festival is another way for us to give back to the community through charity it was the perfect place for our green brew to get its first outing.”

This year sees the Brewery’s annual beer bash coming back for its 19th year, with a staggering line up of over 180 beers to sample from across the UK, having raised nearly £200k for charity across the years.