Pelican Brewing Company leans in to sustainable brewing practices
By Mariah Surat 2 months ago

Pelican Brewing Company leans in to sustainable brewing practices

It’s not easy being green—but we’re committed.

Pelican Brewing Company leans in to sustainable brewing practices

Pelican invests in technology to recycle brewing wastewater through Farm Power digester in Tillamook, buys back brewery power locally, renewably

Pacific City, Oregon (September 3, 2019)—With a mission to invest in the community and initiatives that make its home at the Oregon Coast environmentally healthy, Pelican Brewing Company has installed new technology and launched initiatives that protect and sustain the environment. The brewery today announced that it has partnered with local start-up Farm Power Northwest to recycle their own brewing wastewater with the help of this local processor. Pelican then buys 50% of its electrical power back from these local & renewable resources to help support the cycle of sustainable energy production.

Farm Power is a Pacific Northwest company operating at the intersection of sustainable agriculture and renewable energy. Their facilities are designed around a proven commercial technology called an anaerobic digestion.  This process harvests methane gas from manure, and greatly reduces negative excess nutrient loading to streams, rivers & estuaries.  The captured methane produces electricity, which is then sold to Pelican and the Tillamook community.   The processed manure, now digested fiber, travels back to partner farmers as an organic fertilizer now free of pathogens and odor. Along the way, the organization reduces greenhouse gas emissions by thousands of tons per year.

How does Farm Power work with Pelican? Pelican captures & meters all waste streams.  This includes process water, excess yeast, residual cleaning water and tank bottoms. Pelican then collects and transports this composite liquid to Farm Power Northwest. The brewery wastewater is then mixed with manure and food and beverage waste from other customers in an ‘anaerobic digester’ where the waste is converted to methane. Generated methane becomes bio-gas which turns two 6kW co-process generators.  Remaining grey water is used to irrigate pastures on local dairy farms.  Lastly, the process fiber is land-applied as organic fertilizer, and as a soil builder helping improve the sustainability of dairy farming in the region.

“We know we are more than lucky to live and work in a place as beautiful as the Oregon Coast.  We don’t take any of this for granted and we work hard to ensure we are doing all we can to protect and sustain this incredible place we call home,” says Jim Prinzing, chief executive officer, Pelican Brewing Company. “We are committed to staying up-to-date on new and emerging technology and practices that make our brewing processes and operations as energy efficient and sustainable as we can. Farm Power offers the ideal solution for us to contribute to sustainable energy production.”

Pelican Brewing works hard to ensure they are brewing in sustainable and environmentally-friendly methods. Just some of Pelican’s other environmentally-friendly initiatives include:

Salmon SuperHWY
Pelican donates a portion of proceeds from every barrel sold of Five Fin West Pilsner directly to the Salmon SuperHwy project. This organization works to restore access to almost 180 miles of blocked habitat throughout six major salmon & steelhead rivers of Oregon’s North Coast.

Transportation Carbon Offset
The shipping and logistics team at Pelican have worked over the last several years to develop a deep connection with local freight companies to help offset the carbon footprint that comes along with shipping beer. Pelican ensures that every semi-truck that coming to the brewery is full of packaging and raw materials and every trailer leaving the brewery are full of beer heading to wholesalers.

Water Conservation
When the Brewers Association first posted the statistic that it takes seven gallons of water to produce one gallon of beer, Pelican brewers gasped and then asked themselves, ‘What is our consumption?’ Pelican carefully looked over all of brewing procedures, water meters, and waste water logs and found something quite surprising: Pelican landed at half the national average with 4.6 gallons of water to one gallon of beer. They then spent time dialing in processes and have been able to drop that ratio to under 4:1. An incredible feat that shows every step in the Pelican process is done with purpose and without waste.

Spent Grain
Pelican is proud of it’s partnerships with local farms.  All spent grain from the three brewing facilities is used as feed at local dairy farmers. Spent grain provides additional nutrients like protein and fiber for livestock and helps farmers cut back their costs on having to buy feed. Pelican used almost 2 million pounds of malt in 2018—and with cheese being one of the other major commodities produced on the rural Oregon coast, that’s a lot of happy cows!

Better Boilers
In 2016, Pelican installed a new energy efficient Miura Boiler—new technology and better process control allow this boiler to capture more steam condensate and reuse it in the generation process. The condensate return-lines have a connection to the Pelican kettle steam stack that increases the recovered condensate and creates a 5% utilization increase.

Hot Water Reclamation
Once wort is boiled it needs to be cooled down so the yeast can ferment the sugars and make beer. To do this Pelican utilizes a single stage cooling system to bring wort from boiling temperatures to below 70°F. They run chilled water and the wort through a plate heat exchanger and then route the now heated water back to a Hot Process Water tank and reuse it in the brewhouse. This process helps cut back the need to heat water with the boiler and reduces usage of propane. This critical process reduces Pelican’s consumption of propane by over 40,000 gallons a year.

About Pelican Brewing Company

Pelican Brewing Company was born at the beach in 1996. Here, in front of a rundown old building at the water’s edge, stood three enthusiastic young folks whose thirst for great beer overshadowed their understanding of what it would take to build a brewery. They did it anyway. Thanks to the vision of founding owners Jeff Schons and Mary Jones, Oregon’s only beachfront brewpub became one of the state’s most popular destinations. And now 24 years later, Pelican Brewing Company is an iconic beach brand and one of the most decorated craft breweries in Oregon. Pelican has been honored with more than 450 awards including the prestigious 2015, 2016, 2017 Australian International Beer Awards Champion Medium International Brewery; 2014 World Beer Cup Champion Small Brewery; 2013 Great American Beer Festival Large Brewpub of the Year. Why? Pelican brews are playful, but not frivolous. Brewed with purpose, passion and a deep respect for the craft. Pelican operates brewing and brewpub facilities in Pacific City, Cannon Beach, and its state-of-the-craft brewery in Tillamook, Oregon where it brews 40,000 barrels of award-winning beer annually and distributes to six states. Pelican’s vision, its beer and values were born at the beach where the team wakes up each day in a place that reminds them that amazing is possible. Cheers, Fellow Fanatics!

For more information, visit Pelican Brewing Company.

Contact: Claudia Johnson, Public Relations, 503-799-2220.