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Our Story | SweetWater Brewing Company | Don't Float the MainstreamSweetWater Brewing Company

Our Story

SweetWater’s roots began back in Boulder, Colorado in the early 90′s while Freddy Bensch and Kevin McNerney were roommates at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

During their time out west, they realized they had more of a hankering for beer than books. Their first step into the profession was washing kegs on the loading docks of a local brewery for free beer. Not a bad job when you’re in college! With all this free beer, their grades went up, their cars got fixed, friends were plentiful and the sun shined a little brighter. Once they were finished with school, it was time to either find a real job, or get serious in the brewing business. Easy choice, right? Freddy and Kevin headed off to the American Brewers Guild in California aka Brewing School to sharpen up their knowledge of “Fermentation Science”! After that they were off and running brewing beer for other breweries around the west coast, learning their craft while keeping the dream of their own place alive. (Click for all the juicy details)

Keepin’ it Green

Sustainability ain’t just a buzzword round these parts. Whether it’s using electric hand dryers instead of paper towels in our bathrooms or utilizing natural skylights throughout the building, we’re committed to keeping things green wherever and whenever we can.

The Greenest Fleet in Town

Y’all know our trucks are colorful, but you might not know they’re pretty green too. In fact, our fleet of trucks are so efficient that the exhaust comin’ out of them is actually cleaner than the air going in.

Spent Grain

Once we get all the tasty wort outta our grain, we’re left with a bunch of stuff that looks a little like granola. Isn’t much use to us, but farmers around the nation have learned that it makes some lip-smackin’ feed for their cattle. Last year we shipped 10.3 million pounds of spent grain to local farmers instead of the landfill.

Wastewater Management System

You’ve probably heard us say you can’t make beer without clean water, so we’re committed to being part of the solution and not the problem when it comes to our water usage. All our wastewater from packaging and brewing gets pumped into a mixing tank – and adjusted for pH if necessary – before being discharged to the city.

We also work hard to conserve the water involved in the brewing and bottling process. In 2013 we re-used 6.2 million gallons of hot water from the brewhouse cooling process and another 1.2 million gallons from the bottle rinsing process.

Packaging

All of our cardboard packaging is made from post-recycled content, but we recently upped up game even more with the addition of our side packer. Our new 12-pack cartons reduce greenhouse gas emission by 35 percent over the old boxes.

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