4 Certified Green Breweries in Iowa

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4 Certified Green Breweries in Iowa

We all know that beer is popular. We also know that microbreweries are taking off all over the country, not to mention a resurgence in Iowa. We also might know that this new generation of beer lovers also  care about simple and responsible actions that businesses can take to make a difference: waste reduction, energy efficiency, water conservation, and more. So it makes sense that Iowa would create a certification for green breweries! But what does that mean? And which 4 in Iowa have received that honor?

The Iowa Green Brewery Certification was developed by the Iowa Waste Reduction Center at the University of Northern Iowa with the help of the Iowa Brewers Guild and a few breweries across Iowa. Through IWRC, craft breweries receive free technical assistance, hands-on guidance, and certification to benchmark their environmental and sustainability efforts. Interested breweries receive an initial consultation prior to IWRC staff visiting their site. A criteria-based score is developed to determine certification level which is provided in a final report.

Certification Criteria

Before your initial visit, IWRC staff will compile a list of all applicable environmental regulations and requirements for compliance. No level of certification can be reached without first complying with air quality, stormwater, wastewater, and non-hazardous and hazardous waste regulations. Then staff will look at the following: Environmental Management, Energy Efficiency, Water Quality / Conservation, and Resources / Solid Waste Management. Four levels of certification are possible based on points.

Certified Green Breweries in Iowa

Today, five Iowa breweries have been certified through IWRC: Keg Creek Brewing Company, Lark Brewing, SingleSpeed Brewing, and  Franklin Street Brewing Company. Expect more to follow their lead.

Keg Creek Brewing Company

Keg Creek Brewing Company is based in Glenwood, Iowa. Their facility is certified Silver level. Try a Citrifiable Pale Ale.

Website: www.kegcreekbrewing.com

Lark Brewing

Lark Brewing is based in Waterloo, Iowa. Their facility achieved Silver level certification. Try a Funkery with Armadillo and Peach.

Website: www.larkbrewing.com

SingleSpeed Brewing

SingleSpeed Brewing is based in Cedar Falls and Waterloo, Iowa. Their Cedar Falls facility achieved Silver level certification, while Waterlook achieve Platinum (the highest level). Try their Tricycle Cream Ale.

Website: www.singlespeedbrewing.com

Franklin Street Brewing Company

Franklin Street Brewing Company is based in Manchester, Iowa. Their facility achieved Gold level certification. Try their Cherry Saison.

Website: www.franklinstreetbrewing.com

Sustainable Business in Iowa

As Kum & Go’s first manager of sustainability in 2010, I wrote my first book and began teaching CSR & Sustainability for the University of Iowa evening MBA program. In 2014, I launched and became the executive director of the Iowa Sustainable Business Forum and an independent consultant. With the help of an endless amount of Iowa professionals in various fields (see the Acknowledgements page), I just released my second book, Sustainable Business in Iowa: How Leading Companies Profit from Environmental and Social Responsibility. It gives step-by-step guidance on how industry leaders define, measure, and improve their own corporate sustainability programs. The book also highlights over 30 responsible Iowa businesses as case study examples.

The Kindle ebook is free and the paperback is heavily discounted for the first week of promotion, until March 2nd. Get your copy today and help move your company forward!



Adam Hammes is the executive director of the Iowa Sustainable Business Forum, a consultant, author, and motivational speaker. He specializes in helping businesses and sustainability professionals with environmental and social performance.

Check out Adam's new book on Amazon, Audible and Kindle: Sustainable Business in Iowa.

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