At its heart, the word sustainability means an ability to endure, to last. Companies can endure and last by ensuring good financial health, but we recognize that there are externalities not captured on a financial balance sheet – if a company is actively contributing to climate change in pursuit of profit, that’s not a sustainable company. We’re on a mission to be at the forefront of sustainability in craft beer and serve as change agents in the industry. 

Our sustainability program exists to examine and understand the negative externalities of our operations and develop strategies and programs to mitigate them. We’ve identified five main areas of focus for this work – water, electricity, natural gas, carbon dioxide, and waste.  

Within this framework, we’re also committed to transparency. We are always tracking, measuring, and recording our efforts and setting, meeting, and adjusting our goals. We believe we should be sharing the data and results of this work so that we’re not only embracing sustainable practices but doing so with authenticity. 

Our Practices and Goals


The old joke – save water by drinking beer – sadly isn’t true. On average, we use 5.5 gallons of water to make one gallon of beer. We’re trying to reduce that figure to 4.5 gallons of water to make one gallon of beer in the future. Our initiatives include reviewing our brewing processes to look for potential reductions in water usage, surveying our facilities for leaking water sources and repairing them, and closing open loops – we recently moved from using water to cool our centrifuge to using a closed-loop glycol system that saves over 500,000 gallons of water annually. We’re also investigating our cleaning practices and researching the most effective and efficient techniques to ensure a clean brewery with less water used.  

Currently: Making 1 six pack of beer requires the same amount of water required to fill 5.5 six packs of water

Goal: Making 1 six pack of beer requires the same amount of water required to fill 4.5 six packs of water


Using electricity contributes to global warming because many power plants emit greenhouse gases from combustion of fossil fuels. Over the past four years, we’ve put solar panels on the roofs of our facilities and worked out a plan with Georgia Power to purchase Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to cover about 75% of our electricity usage. We also work to reduce the amount of electricity we use in our facilities, from installing an efficient chiller that dropped our usage per six pack of beer made by 25%, to exclusively using LEDs to light our spaces, to minimizing compressed air usage, to utilizing programmable thermostats to cool our spaces only while they’re occupied.

Currently: Making 1 six pack of beer requires the same amount of electricity required to charge a cell phone to 50%

Goal: Making 1 six pack of beer requires the same amount of electricity required to charge a cell phone to 40%

Natural Gas

We burn natural gas to create steam – this steam provides the necessary heat for our brewing process. Since natural gas is a fossil fuel, we try to limit our usage of this resource as much as possible – we burn 1.4 therms of natural gas to make 1 barrel of beer, which is among the most efficient for craft breweries in America. To further improve efficiency, we check and repair our steam traps as well as check the combustion quality inside the boiler for optimal conditions. We’re conducting additional research to further optimize our brewing processes – if we can reduce temperatures or required time, we can save even more natural gas in the future.

Currently: Making 1 six pack of beer requires the same amount of natural gas required to boil 1.5 gallons of water

Goal: We’re working on setting a new goal since we met our original one!

Carbon Dioxide

Breweries purchase carbon dioxide to use in manufacturing operations to carbonate beer and shield processes from oxygenation. It’s a critical gas that drives climate change, so using it wisely and eliminating waste is vital. We’ve reduced our CO2 usage by implementing systems for detecting and repairing leaks, modifying our tank cleaning principles to conserve CO2, and reducing our usage in our keg line by a third. We’ve got big plans in the future to turn this greenhouse gas into a closed loop – implementing a system to capture the CO2 from fermentation of beer and re-using it in our facility is the ideal goal. 

Currently: Making 1 six pack of beer requires the same amount of CO2 as emitted by driving a quarter of a mile

Goal: Making 1 six pack of beer requires the same amount of CO2 as emitted by driving 1000 feet


We want to make beer, not waste. Through processes, operations, and actions to reduce waste and resources throughout our system lifecycle, we’re working to eliminate any unnecessary waste from our beer production.

Actions we’re currently taking to achieve our waste reduction goals include:

  • Sending spent grain to local farms to be used as food for livestock. While this is an industry-norm, we’re proud that our spent grain is staying local
  • Purchasing balers for scrap aluminum and cardboard
  • Participating in our county’s compost collection service to ensure organic waste materials like leftover food, napkins, and paper towels are composted instead of landfilled
  • Sending hard-to-recycle items such as stretch film plastic, batteries, and used motor oil to our local CHaRM (Center for Hard to Recycle Materials) facility on a monthly basis

Because of these diversion practices, in 2021 we received TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency) Silver Level Certification for our Southern Mill facility’s zero waste efforts. Administered by Green Business Certification, Inc. (GBCI), TRUE helps facilities measure, improve, and recognize zero waste performance by encouraging the adoption of sustainable waste management and reduction practices, which contribute to positive environmental, health, and economic outcomes. Our production facility achieved a 99.8% diversion rate, with less than one percent of waste material generated in our operations heading to a landfill.

We received TRUE Silver certification for Southern Mill in 2021 with a 99.8% diversion rate

GOAL: Maintain a 99.8% diversion rate at Southern Mill year after year