Distribution Range – Does it Cancel Out Sustainability Efforts?
Maui Brewing recently announced via a press release they will distribute in Maryland. Cheers to the residents of Maryland as Maui produces great beer. The press release went on to further explain why Maui is a great brewery. They are the only brewery in Hawaii that produces and cans all of their beer on the island and they place a great emphasis on being environmentally sustainable and good members of the community. For example, they make their own bio-diseal from the vegetable oil at the restaurant, spent grain is donated to local farmers, and they are in the works to add solar panels to their facilities. I applaud Maui on their sustainable efforts and they truly are a leader in the beer community. The press release gave me that warm fuzzy feeling about how great they are to the environment. However, I then remember the whole point of the press release is they are distributing to a state over 4,700 miles away.
I began researching other breweries to see how they stacked up.
- New Belgium Brewing Company also is regarded as one of the most sustainable craft breweries. They ship both bottles and cans and the farthest distribution is less than 2,500 miles away.
- Sierra Nevada Brewing Company was named the 2010 Green Business of the Year by the EPA. They currently brew in one location, Chico, California which is over 4,000 miles from Maine. Due to booming demand, they are searching for site east of the Mississippi River to build a second production facility.
- Brooklyn Brewery purchases 100% of their electricity from wind power. They do distributes their beer in Hong Kong, Toyko and several countries in Europe. All beer is produced in New York.
- Yuengling’s main brewery is in Pottsville, Pennsylvania but distribution to the Southeast United States is handled out of their Tampa, Florida facility. While demand for Yuengling is high, distribution is limited to east of the Mississippi River.
So it seems Maui isn’t the only brewery out there who distributes to states thousands of miles away. So many breweries have large distribution ranges and place a great emphasis on sustainability. Is this bad, or are they simply trying to do what is best for the earth and their own company?