The first 100% carbon neutral brewery in North America

Cowbell Brewing Co. is Building North America’s First Carbon Neutral Brewery

BLYTH, August 15, 2016 — Cowbell Brewing Co. recently broke ground on a landmark destination brewery, restaurant, and event venue in Blyth, ON. The brewery will be the first carbon neutral operation of its kind in North America.
Cowbell Brewing Co. will offset 100% of its greenhouse gas emissions including all energy consumed in the brewing and facility operations. This benchmark goal will be achieved through a three-step approach as established by lead architect, Jason Morgan of Allan Avis Architects, Goderich, ON.

Morgan states, “The first step in minimizing the environmental impact of the main brewery and restaurant building is reducing energy consumption using smart building enclosure systems, equipment, lighting, dramatically reducing water consumption in the brewing process, and providing systems that are derived from the building’s conceptual inspiration.” He says the facility is inspired by “grand old barn” designs taken from its rural surroundings in the heart of Huron County. The lofty interior spaces use rooftop cupolas, equipped with remote control windows, as an effective, traditional means of ventilation. Additionally, the building’s orientation on the property is designed to effectively reduce the energy required for heating and cooling.

Cowbell Brewing Co. has chosen its state-of-the-art brewing equipment and design from Newlands Systems Inc. (NSI) of Abbotsford, BC. “The entire system is designed with a comprehensive approach to energy conservation and avoidance,” says Christian Riemerschmid von der Heide, NSI COO.

Some of the features include:

  • Electrical components equipped with variable frequency drives to reduce unnecessary electrical draw.
  • Internal rotating jets that reduce water consumption as they clean.
  • A low-energy brew kettle boiling design that reduces primary energy by 50%, evaporation water by up to 80%, and allows remaining vapour to be condensed and used to generate hot water.

Cowbell Brewing Co.’s targeted water-to-beer consumption ratio is 4:1 – much lower than the relative industry standard of 10:1. The brewery will be a closed-loop facility with an onsite deep well supplying 100% of the brewing water. This design also features the company’s own effluent management system, meaning there will be no impact on municipal sanitary services infrastructure.

These building design and water saving strategies, along with many others, will significantly reduce the environmental footprint of the brewery operation.
The second step is Cowbell Brewing Co.’s carbon sequestration program. This is achieved on-site through an intensive, 29-acre reforestation project. The project, a 2010 joint venture with the Maitland Valley Conservation Authority, planted approximately 12,000 native tree species to return the land back to forest, complete with trails and meadows for year-round use.

The third step, in conjunction with Allan Avis Architects and Golder Associates, London, ON, a global leader specializing in sustainable development, will complete the detailed analysis necessary to validate, certify and achieve carbon neutral accreditation – Cowbell will proudly have the distinction of being North America’s first carbon neutral brewery. This will be a transparent and ongoing initiative at Cowbell Brewing Co.

About Cowbell Brewing Co.

Cowbell Brewing Co. is a new entrant into the craft beer market but has very different plans than the usual start-up. Cowbell is owned by the Sparling family who has entrepreneurial roots in Blyth, ON, going back three generations. They are embarking on an ambitious project designed to have positive local community and regional tourism benefits. They have recently broken ground on 59-acres of land on the outskirts of the village. A state-of-the art brewery, restaurant, and event venue is set to open in spring/summer 2017. Cowbell Brewing Co. recently launched their first beer, Absent
Landlord, and due to stronger than forecasted demand, is staging broad distribution across Ontario. Cowbell’s second beer, Doc Perdue’s Bobcat, as well as the Renegade Series, will launch this fall.

For more information on the company, please visit:

Cowbell Brewing's Blyth, Ontario location (rendering)