New Belgium wind power beer arrives in nation’s capital

A (wind power) friend suggested dining at Birch & Barley restaurant in Washington, D.C., last evening. Much to our surprise and delight, it turned out to be their first night for serving New Belgium beer, previously only available in the western U.S.

A number of breweries and wineries now buy wind energy or generate clean power (wind turbines or solar power) on site, but New Belgium is special, having been the first brewery to take the plunge, in 1998. At the time, its employee-owners voted overwhelmingly to buy wind power from Xcel Energy’s (then Public Service of Colorado’s) Windsource program, and to finance the purchase by reducing their own bonus pool. See the New Belgium website for more on the company’s sustainability practices, and quaff a brew or two if you have the chance.

By Tom Grain,