Since starting Throwback Brewery, we have always focused on developing and implementing sustainable practices that help protect the environment. It is our policy to always strive to improve our business operations to lessen our impact on the local and global environment by conserving energy, water & other natural resources, reducing waste generation, recycling, and reducing our use of toxic materials. We are committed to environmental excellence and pollution prevention, meeting or exceeding all environmental regulatory requirements, and to purchasing products which have greater recycled content with lower toxicity and packaging, that reduce the use of natural resources.
We find that many of you share the same values as we do, and that you tend to be genuinely excited about supporting our business and enjoying our food & beer. So thank you for exploring this page – we hope you find it interesting and useful – and maybe it will even offer a little inspiration for sustainability in your own lives!
Here are some examples of our sustainability efforts in practice:
Well we ‘bought the farm’ – so of course our goal was to farm our own land! We have 12 acres, roughly four of them are dedicated to farming – including our hop yard, fruit trees, vegetables, and animals (chickens, goats, pigs, and donkeys). The energy required for our farmer to ‘transport’ freshly picked fruits and vegetables from our fields to our kitchen is much less than any other source!
Local Ingredient Sourcing
We take our commitment to crafting beers and food using ingredients sourced from within a 200 mile radius very seriously. Not only does local food taste better and help local farmers, it also reduces the amount of energy used to transport meat, produce, malt, and other goods. By knowing where our food comes from, we can ensure our ingredients are grown without the use of synthetic inputs such as pesticides and fertilizers – which also helps sustain the earth. Our beers are produced with malt from Valley Malt in Hadley, MA (125 miles away).
Valley Malt sources their raw barley from Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, and New York. In other words, the vast majority of the malt we use is grown less than 200 miles from our brewery.
Every time we brew a batch of beer we save about 20 barrels of water, which is then used in brewing the next batch of beer. We average more than 2 brews a week, so that is at least 40 barrels a week and over 2 thousand barrels (or 64,480 gallons) a year of water saved!
We compost all restaurant scraps through Mr. Fox Composting. The outputs from our brewing process – mostly spent grain – are given to local farms to feed to their animals, or we feed our own pigs here on or farm!
We always knew we wanted to go solar, so when we moved to the farm, that was a major focus for us. Our barn has vast southern facing exposure that is perfect for harnessing solar energy! We partnered with ReVision Energy and installed a 48 kw grid-tied solar electric array, making us the largest solar-powered brewery in NH.
When the sun is shining, the 174 solar panels on the roof of our brewery produce electricity that is either used in real-time by our facilities, or fed back to the grid where it benefits our community (and earns us a credit). Each year, the system will generate roughly 60,465 kilowatt-hours (kWhs) of electricity, offsetting the equivalent of driving over 110,000 miles driven in a gas-powered car.
The array powers roughly 20- 50% of our brewery (depending on the month) – and since the installation our electricity bills have now been cut by more than 50%! In addition, environmental benefits include projected CO2 savings of 78,624 lbs, SOx (Sulphur Oxide) savings of 72.58 lbs, and NOx (Nitrogen Oxide) savings of 139.1 lbs. For more information on how solar energy works, visit here.
Growlers. We sell a large number of growlers here at the brewery and at the Farmers’ Markets. At an average market, 2/3 to 3/4 of growlers purchased at the Farmers’ Markets are being reused! Customers bring their empty growlers in and swap them for growlers full of beer. At our brew pub, we see anywhere from 65-80% of folks coming in with their reusable growlers to be filled. To use one recent month as an example – we refilled 406 growlers – that’s a 65% reuse rate for that month!
Cans. We package many of our beers in 16-oz cans. Cans have a smaller carbon footprint than glass bottles for a number of reasons. Cans are lighter and require less energy to transport than glass. Also, aluminum cans have a higher recycling rate and more recycled content than other popular package types. Recycling of aluminum cans saves 95% of the energy required to make the same amount of aluminum from its virgin source.
Upcycling. We are always looking for ways to make a difference – and reusing existing materials in new and beautiful ways is directly in line with our vision. For example, in our pub, the floor you walk on is made from reclaimed wood from the original barn floor. We’ve gone to such great lengths to maintain, repurpose, and improve upon what we inherited here that when we completely rehabilitated Hobbs Farm, we were honored with an award from the NH Preservation Alliance.