At Block 15, we take our footprint on this earth seriously. Breweries and restaurants in general create a large amount of waste and use a lot of resources. Through planning and training, Block 15 takes the steps to reduce waste and limit resource consumption. We are also proud participants of Pacific Power’s Blue Sky Program and NW Natural Gas’ Smart Energy Program. Our plan is ever evolving, constantly searching for unique and effective ways to bring you the best beer and food in a more sustainable manner.
In The Brewery
The brewers at Block 15 are committed to sustainably responsible beer production. This includes brewing efficiently in order to reduce the use of water, reducing and recycling waste, using organic and regional ingredients, and participating in environmental programs.
The average brewery uses five times the amount of water per finished pint. Aside from the water in the actual beer you drink, large amounts are used for cooling the hot wort and cleaning the tanks. Thus far we have enacted three processes to reduce water use:
- Our brewery has a hot liquor tank which catches excess water used during cooling and stores it for the next brew day.
- We use a clean in place (CIP) system to clean our tanks. Treated water is looped with a pump and used to clean all the tanks.
- We purchase Bonneville Environmental Foundation Water Certificates. For every gallon of water used in our brewery, the amount is diverted back to rivers in need through these certificates.
Waste Reduction and Recycling
The brewing process results in several byproducts including wastewater and spent grains. In addition to reusing any excess water and looping our cleaning water to multiple tanks, we also recycle our spent grains. On average we use about 350 lbs of grain to brew one batch of beer. These ‘spent’ grains are given to a local farmer for feed, saving them from the landfill.
We are privileged to work with a creative team of people. One of our staff members recycles used grain bags by turning them into curtains and grocery bags.
Organic and Regional Ingredients
Block 15 uses an organic base malt (2-row) for most of their beers. Other organic grains are used in addition the base malt when available.
Locally gathered honey is used some of our beer recipes. Our fruit beers use fruit grown in Oregon. Most of the fruit is grown within 4 miles of the brewery from Stahlbush Island Farms.
Many of the cleaners used are organic and we use the least amount possible.
We are a part of the Pacific Powers Blue Sky Program. Though this program, a portion of our electricity use is sourced from renewable energy such as wind power. This reduces the carbon emission from typical energy production. For information go to PacificPower.net. In 2011 Block 15 supported 56,163 kilowatt-hours of renewable energy avoiding the release of 67,305 pounds of carbon diozine. This equates to not driving a car 68,432 miles.
We also participate in Northwest Natural Gas’ “Smart Energy” program through which we purchase “carbon off sets.” These off sets include planting trees, which absorb carbon dioxide, and investing in renewable natural gas, such as capturing methane from cow crap… seriously check it out at NWNatural.com.
We purchase water restoration certificates (WRCs) through Bonneville Environamental Foundation’s Water Restoration Certificates program. This program allows us to balance our water consumption by returning a large portion of the water we use back to the environment.
The restaurant staff is also committed to sustainability. In addition to participating in the above environmental programs, we choose to use local and regional ingredients when feasible, reduce water and energy use, and participate in recycling and composting programs.
We love to use local and regional ingredients in our recipes. We are committed to promoting a vibrant local economy and think that these products just taste better. For example, we have committed to Painted Hills Natural Beef for our fresh hand spanked burgers and steak. The animals are raised on a vegetarian diet with no hormones or artificial ingredients. Other local products include honey, seasonal fruits and vegetables, nuts, cheese, wine, and spirits…. We won’t mislead you and tell you that everything is local and organic, but we can truthfully state we have made a start and will continue to work towards this goal. To learn more about these items check out our partners page.
As with the Brewers, our restaurant staff is trained to conserve. We use energy efficient lighting that is only on when needed, attend to running water, turn on cooking elements only when needed, and will only bring water to you upon request.
Recycling and Composting is Easy
We are also part of Allied Waste’s Post-consumer Waste Composting program and have been since it’s inception in December 2009. That means we are able to compost all of our food prep scraps as well as any food you leave on your plate and paper towels & napkins.
This material is picked up by Allied Waste once a week and taken to it’s composting facility about 10 miles north of Corvallis. Once properly converted, the material is returned to Corvallis for use as compost. We are able to divert a large portion of our waste to compost rather than landfills!
Block 15 is a Styrofoam free restaurant! All of our to go containers are compostable. Simply put them in your home composting bins.
Also, all of our used cooking oil is recycled into an alternative fuel thanks to our friends over at Enviofuel.
We believe in recycling everything that is recyclable such as glass, newspaper, old menus, wine corks, plastic bags, cardboard, etc.
We want our children’s children to be able to brew beer and cook great food for your children’s children and even their children’s children’s children in our beautiful Willamette Valley. It is through innovation, conservation, and sustainability that we can make this happen. We hope you will join in the fun and raise a pint of our craft beer in a toast to them and our one and only Earth. Cheers!