viagra online viagra online viagra online without prescription generic viagra viagra online viagra online viagra online without prescription generic viagra

Green breweries in western Massachusetts

From sustainable ski resorts (Jiminy Peak) to an energy-efficient, state-of-the-art computing center, western Massachusetts is becoming a hub for green institutions.

The environmental effort has even extended to local brewpubs. If you’re a beer drinker and are looking for a new favorite watering hole, one where you can sip a delicious brew in good conscience, knowing you’re supporting a place that has greened up its act, consider checking out the following:

1) People’s Pint (24 Federal St., Greenfield)

Since the day they opened their doors in 1997, the People’s Pint has always had a focus on environmental sustainability. Waste reduction and composting, using local ingredients in their food and beer and encouraging patrons and staff to bike to the restaurant are among the environmental initiatives that have taken off over the years.

According to the description on the front of the menu, “Whenever possible, we serve food grown or produced locally and oftentimes, organically.”

If an ingredient is not in season in this area, it will not available to customers. (I realized this as a woman sitting next to me at the bar was denied a request for tomatoes on her grilled cheese sandwich.)

The restaurant use local, grass-fed beef that comes from cows on a farm in Shelburne. Its dairy comes from Mapleline Farm in Hadley, and it serves Snow’s Premium Ice Cream (made up the street) and coffee from Pierce Brothers Coffee Roasters in town. The business also tries to use locally-grown hops in its beer when possible.

Waste reduction is another one of the People’s Pint’s key green initiatives. The restaurant uses no disposable plastic and only a minimum of paper products. It offers biodegradable straws made from corn starch, has LED-rechargeable candles and recycles all of its plastic, cardboard, metal and glass.

According to the menu-front description, “As a result, even on our busiest night, we have not created more than one barrel of trash.”

They also use brown, natural fiber, 100-percent recyclable to-go containers. And as much of the food scraps from the restaurant as possible are composted. 

Additionally, People’s Pint has a program in which people can sign up and receive a 10-percent discount on their restaurant tabs when they ride their bikes there instead of driving. If the framed posters lining the wall are any indication, this is definitely a bike-friendly place.

As the name suggests, People’s Pint is a favorite for many area residents.

“We get a lot of local customers,” said Josh Breitner, the head chef.

“It’s a nice local spot. A lot of people here know each other,” added waitress Tina Bodensteiner.

The beer is awesome, too.

“We like our beer to be fresh,” Mr. Breitner explained.

Their Star of the Valley beer, made entirely from local ingredients, is excellent. I also sampled a True North breakfast stout, a black IPA called the Midnight Special and the sweet-tasting Slippery Slope (brewed with local cider, honey and ginger). Cheers to that!

2) Barrington Brewery (420 Stockbridge Rd., Great Barrington)

Drive up to this brewpub on Stockbridge Road (Route 7), and you may notice a large barrel painted with the brewery’s logo, which features a tall, foaming pint glass with a beaming sun in the background.

That’s right, they do solar-brewed beer, and they have a reason to be proud. They were first brewery on the east coast to install a solar system, which they use to heat water used in the brew process and in the restaurant.

The $80,000 solar system, installed in fall 2007, includes 30 solar panels that provide approximately 1,000 gallons of hot water daily.

In the early stages of the brewing process, malted barley is mixed with hot water to create a mash. The mash is next broken down into a sugary solution called wort, which is then boiled with hops before being cooled and then fermented.

“All that water is either completely or partly heated by solar,” said Andrew Mankin, owner and head brewer.

He also pointed out about 75 percent of brewing is the cleaning process, which requires a substantial amount of hot water.

“The solar hot water system was a big investment,” he said. “But it has paid off.”

According to Mr. Mankin, the brewery has been able to cut its natural gas usage in half. And, as he explained, because it’s no longer necessary to heat the water as much, the brewery has been able to save on air conditioning electric usage, an added bonus that wasn’t initially calculated. The brewery is also looking at upgrading the air conditioning to a more energy efficient model.

“When we built Crissey Farm [the adjoining banquet facility], we had to make a decision on investing in green technology,” said Mr. Mankin. “At some point you’ve got to put your money where your mouth is, and we did.”

The solar brewing aspect has also peaked customer interest.

“That part of it has been a plus,” Mr. Mankin said. 

The restaurant serves homemade dishes, incorporating local, seasonal ingredients whenever possible, including seasonal produce from Taft Farms, Equinox Farm and Howden Farm; apples from Windy Hill; grass-fed beef from Northeast Family Farms; and free-range chicken from neighboring New York state.

Some dishes, such as the cheddar ale soup, steak and stout sandwiches and the famous chocolate stout cake, include flavors from the beer made right there on-site. In addition, the brewery makes three to four batches of beer seasonally (usually in the fall), using hops that it grows.

And if that wasn’t enough, the brewery also emphasizes recycling as much as possible.

“We’ve been able to cut our amount of garbage in half because of all our recycling,” Mr. Mankin explained.

Share This Post

Posted by on January 17, 2013. Filed under Food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
viagra online viagra online viagra online without prescription generic viagra viagra online generic viagra accutane buy phentermine viagra online viagra online viagra online without prescription generic viagra