Search Google Appliance


Come tap into the business of sustainable beer

As it turns out, an affinity for craft beer can be better for your financial future than a night out on the town would lead you to believe. On October 21, an event at Portland State’s Lincoln Performance Hall will bring together two brewery leaders who are proof of just that—and further proof that it’s possible to
do it all while looking out for the well-being of people and
the planet.

Kim Jordan, CEO and co-founder of New Belgium Brewing, and Christian Ettinger, brewmaster and owner of Hopworks Urban Brewery, will discuss how they’ve built successful—and sustainable—craft brewing businesses from their love of
good beer. 

Based in Ft. Collins, Colorado, New Belgium began in 1991 when Kim Jordan (a social worker at the time) and her husband (an electrical engineer) decided to go commercial with their Belgian-style homebrew. New Belgium now employs more than 400 people, is 100 percent employee owned, and is distributed in 32 states. Their commitment to protecting the environment and fostering social wellness has been a priority from the beginning, making it into the first draft of the company's Core Values and Beliefs that the cofounders wrote on a hiking trip in Rocky Mountain National Park.

New Belgium became the country’s first brewery to purchase wind energy in 1999, when employee-owners voted unanimously to dip into their bonus checks to support the city of Fort Collins’ Wind Program. In January 2013, the company decided to redirect the money it paid to the city program to invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency projects directly within the breweries (they are currently building a second brewery in Asheville, North Carolina). 

Right here in Portland, Hopworks brews and serves locally sourced, organic beer in two sustainably built and operated brewpubs. Christian Ettinger opened HUB in 2007 after working as brewmaster at two other Portland breweries and winning numerous international awards for his beer recipes. Hopworks uses about half the amount of water in it brewing process as other breweries of its size, sources its brewpub food from local, sustainable producers whenever possible, recycles its spent brewing grain into cattle feed, and purchases carbon and water offsets to make up for the environmental footprint that still exists when all is said and done. 

Just like New Belgium, Hopworks continues to grow. Their second brewpub—BikeBar—opened last summer, and they now distribute in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. More to come, I’m sure.

Hear directly from both of these amazing entrepreneurs at The New Brew event, which is part of Portland State of Mind, on October 21. Find more information and purchase tickets here.