Bent Paddle ‘Brewing’ a More Sustainable Future this Earth Day!

“We believe that businesses have a responsibility to minimize their environmental impact and contribute to a more sustainable future. Through our ongoing initiatives and partnerships, we strive to lead by example and inspire positive change in the brewing industry and beyond.”
– Laura Mullen, Bent Paddle Co-Founder

Leading up to Earth Day on April 22, 2024, Bent Paddle Brewing Co., a leading craft brewery based in Duluth, Minnesota, is proud to showcase its commitment to sustainability and positive environmental impact. With a focus on reducing their carbon footprint, conserving resources, and promoting eco-friendly practices, Bent Paddle Brewing Co. is setting a new standard in the brewing and manufacturing industries.

Since day one, the four Co-Founders of Bent Paddle Brewing Co. decided they would do everything in their power to create a company that takes sustainability seriously. Bent Paddle has prioritized environmental responsibility by integrating sustainable practices into nearly every aspect of its operations. From sourcing ingredients to packaging and distribution to high standards for quality of life for staff and everything in between. The brewery consistently reaches for new and innovative ways to minimize their environmental footprint while producing exceptional craft beer and hemp beverages made with the incredible water of Lake Superior. Below is an expansive list of all the ways Bent Paddle Brewing Co. keeps sustainability in the heart of the business. From recycling with local partners, to reusing water in the brewery to vast community engagement. It’s the small steps taken that can have large impacts on our overall operations that keep us paddling towards an even more sustainable future. 

  • Reclaim clean hot brewing water for reuse on cleaning, etc.
     
  • Installed variable-frequency drives into the brewery.
     
  • Energy efficient lighting installed in the brewery/warehouse.
     
  • Selected aluminum cans as our packaging of choice for our off-sale beer – cans require less packaging and are lighter to ship than glass bottles, and are easy and infinitely recyclable.
     
  • Selected 100% recycled chip board for our 6- and 12- pack boxes that are also easily recyclable at home.
     
  • Selected 96% recycled PakTech brand tops for our 4- and 6-pack holders and have an internal PakTech recycling program turning our PakTechs into Atlas Games parts!
     
  • Cardboard case flats are made of 100% recycled content.
     
  • Our beer is also packaged in metal kegs that get cleaned and reused continuously (pretty standard in the industry but plastic one-way use kegs do exist).
     
  • 100% of our spent brewing grain is picked up by local farmers to be fed to cows and pigs after we have extracted the sugars/liquid from it needed to make the beer.
     
  • Partnership with Hartel’s Waste Service and WLSSD for full brewery and taproom wide recycling (plastic bottles/containers, paper, cardboard, glass, aluminum).
     
  • Sourced a specialized service, A-1 Services, to pick-up our stretch wrap / stretchable plastic for recycling. This service organization also employs people with disabilities who do the pick-ups.
     
  • Brewery tanks are 100% North American made with stainless steel sourced from the Great Lakes region.
     
  • Purchase post-consumer recycled office paper, toilet paper and paper towels as we can find.
     
  • When needing a new product or service we take the time to do the research to find the best local and/or environmentally friendly option and are willing to pay more for those sources depending on the situation.
     
  • Made it a top priority to have a charitable donation program from day one of business operation – we donate beer, venue use and auction/raffle items to numerous local charities.
     
  • Strive to create a sustainable and safe work environment for our employees and encourage a corporate culture that values a healthy work / life balance that includes full benefits as well as alternative benefits including an assortment of outdoor recreation gear they can check out and quarterly staff chair massages, etc.
     
  • Host local sustainability speakers at staff training informational events.
     
  • Member of the Ceres Minnesota Climate Declaration and the NRDC’s Brewers for Clean Water.

Bent Paddle Brewing Co.’s commitment to the environment and sustainability practices plus their strong affinity and use of Lake Superior make their beer so special. They love to showcase this to the public – that a business can be successful while maintaining high sustainability values. Owners and staff continually have conversations about the future of sustainability at Bent Paddle. Some hopes and dreams include installing solar panels, using environmentally friendly materials in future build outs and striving towards a zero waste and low toxicity work environment.


“Bent Paddle Brewing Co. is deeply committed to sustainability and environmental stewardship,” said Co-Founder, Bryon Tonnis. “We believe that businesses have a responsibility to minimize their environmental impact and contribute to a more sustainable future. Through our ongoing initiatives and partnerships, we strive to lead by example and inspire positive change in the brewing industry and beyond.” As Bent Paddle Brewing Co. continues to prioritize sustainability, it invites customers, partners, and stakeholders to join in its journey towards a greener, more sustainable world.

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