From the moment we began to revitalize a 100-year-old factory, sustainability has always been front of mind here at Two Roads.
From reusing parts of the factory to creating what our brewery is today and other green initiatives used in our daily operations, our team has worked to design a sustainable brewing process.
Added in 2014, the Two Roads Brewing Facility features a 70-panel Solar Energy System which provides high-temperature water for production needs. These panels are used to pre-heat our brewing water and cover 100% of the heat requirements of our canning, restrooms, and kegging lines.
Fun fact: Even in the winter, a sunny day yields a surprising amount of heat energy!
The typical brewery uses eight gallons of water to brew one gallon of beer, while here at Two Roads we only use six gallons of water to brew one gallon of beer. Much of our brewery’s equipment comes from Europe and features clever methods of conservation. For example, our bottling line reuses filters and the water used to rinse our bottles prior to filling.
Much of our brewery’s equipment comes from Europe and features clever methods of conservation. For example, our bottling line reuses filters and the water used to rinse our bottles prior to filling.
Our Clean in Place system, used to clean our brewing equipment, is also another place where we work to conserve water. We capture rinse water and reuse it for the next cleaning job – therefore reducing the amount of wastewater we put in our local sewer system.
Two Roads was only one of nine project sites in the Northeast chosen as part of a pilot program to replace our standard efficient lighting with next-level high-efficiency LEDs and advanced networked lighting control technologies.
This “smart” LED lighting is used throughout the brewery and office areas and automatically dims or brightens according to the time of day and ambient natural lighting conditions.
We also have installed dozens of VFDs or Variable Frequency Drive to run our pumps and motors only as fast as needed. It also shuts down when not in use – saving a tremendous amount of electricity over the year.
Breweries create a fair amount of “effluent,” a fancy word for wastewater. This waste is a combination of yeast, grain solids, rinsing water, and small amounts of alkaline cleaning solutions.
This wastewater contains a high amount of BODs or Biological Oxygen Demand, primarily from live yeast and a trace amount of brewing materials. These BODs help our local treatment facility keep their bioreactor running smoothly – as it breaks down solids in the wastewater.
With lots of steam energy used during the brewing process, we ensured that our steam boilers would be energy efficient. Ours use the least amount of gas per amount of steam that modern technology can accomplish.
For heating in the brewery and tasting rooms, we use highly efficient natural gas-fired radiant heating elements that emit ultrasonic waves that heat the surfaces below them, absorb them, and emit them in the form of heat.
Steam & Wort Heat Recovery Systems
In the brewing process, we use steam energy to boil the “wort” prior to becoming beer. Instead of letting that energy “go out the stack” in the form of steam vapor, we capture that heat and use it for the next brew.
We also recover most of the heat energy in a heat exchanger where we heat water for the next brew as we are cooling the “wort” down to a yeast pitching temperature.
One of our community connections is the Audubon Society – Every year we donate funds from the Shore 2 Pour run. This helps places like Stratford Point, a sanctuary that has 275 recorded species and is one of the best birding places in CT.
Also, instead of sending our spent grain to landfills, we sent it to local farmers. On average, we’ll send 500 tons per month to feed hundreds of dairy cows.
When we first brought the factory, we did a $600,000 cleanup of contaminated soil, asbestos, and lead paint with a state grant – and from there we were able to renovate the building.
Many of the pieces you see in our tasting rooms are reused from the old factory and other sources to reduce waste. The panels on the bar in the Two Roads Tasting Room are made of old wood from the U.S. Baird Factory and we use refinished wire spools as our tables.
Over at Area Two, our tasting room tables are made from wood reclaimed from a circa 1860 church in Westerly, RI, and the tops of the stools are wooden planks recovered from Connecticut tobacco barns.
“We’re into reusing everything, every chance we get,” said Two Roads co-founder Brad Hittle. “The materials in the building, the barrels, and foudres, our yeasts were isolated from strains we found in the hop yard and ones we got from the air during superstorm Sandy. We have underground cisterns to collect rainwater we’ll use for outdoor watering.”