We believe in crafting exceptional beer and exceptional communities, and we do both in a similar fashion: with respect, care, and good old fashioned elbow grease. We strive to be leaders in the communities we are part of through our hands-on involvement, and our commitment to community goes far beyond keeping our beer in stock on shelves. We’re here because we care about the neighborhoods, parks, waterfronts, and people who make our region great. Together, we’re Brewing Good.
Month of ServiceTo show our appreciation and support for the communities where our beer is sold, we’re partnering with like-minded non-profit organizations to present a month of service projects throughout our distribution footprint. Each non-profit will receive a $2,500 donation to support their efforts, and a limited number of volunteers at each of our partner events will receive a thank-you gift from GLBC. To learn more about the Month of Service event in your area and how you can get involved, contact your city’s partner organization from the list below. Stay tuned to this page and follow us on social media to see how our family of employees spreads good vibes year-round.
Because we’re located two miles from the shores of Lake Erie and we produce a product that is over 90% water, we’re committed to protecting this valuable resource in brewery operations. While brewing and bottling utilizes a large amount of water, we do our best to reduce and reuse within our bottling and cleaning processes. Since 2001, we’ve hosted the Great Lakes Burning River Fest, a beer and music festival with an environmental focus. The Fest takes place at the historic Coast Guard Station at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River, which leads into Lake Erie--the source of the same water we use to craft our beers. In 2007 the non-profit Burning River Foundation formed as an outgrowth of the fest, and has awarded over $320,000 to local non-profit organizations invested in protecting our freshwater resources. It's a true feel-good festival.
Local Foods & Farming
In the fledgling days of the local food movement, we committed to purchasing the freshest produce available. In 2008 we took local food into our own hands by establishing Pint Size Farm in collaboration with Hale Farm and Village. Located half an hour from the brewery on a historic farm in Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Pint Size Farm's half-acre plot produces high-quality, organic produce used seasonally in our brewpub. In 2010 we joined efforts with a group of Cleveland organizations to form Ohio City Farm, which may be the largest urban farm in the country. Our share of the farm's six acres produces vegetables and herbs for the brewpub, hops for Pub Exclusive beers and firkins, and a wealth of hands-on educational opportunities for our staff.
Waste as an Opportunity
We don't think of our byproducts as waste. Along with traditional recycling, we believe in repurposing everything we can. Spent brewer's grain finds new life as a soil amendment on our farms and feed for livestock used in our brewpub's menu items. We've even used spent grain to cultivate mushrooms. Low-fill beers become sauces, ice creams, soups, sausage, and even soap. And used french fry oil becomes fuel for our Fatty Wagon, an energy-efficient shuttle that delivers brewpub guests to downtown sporting events. Take, make, remake--that's how we operate.
Arts & Culture
From art museums and theaters to historical societies, GLBC is proud to be a supporter and advocate for the arts and culture unique to the communities we serve. We currently sponsor more than fifteen arts and cultural institutes in Northeast Ohio and continue to find ways to grow that support in the other communities we are a part of. Supporting these organizations help ensure the history and stories of our communities can be shared for generations to come. Storytelling through art can be seen on each of our bottles, as every label features colorful collages that tell the story of our own history and culture.
Great Lakes Brewing Company engages in economic, social, and environment practices that achieve a sustainable yet profitable business. We aim to be a thoughful and diligent role model in our industry and for our community. Whenever possible, we seek partners who share our values and our commitment to quality.
which we define as the maximum amount of use from the minimum amount of resources. We value frugality in the use of resources and energy, the usage of renewable resources, the reduction of waste throughout the supply chain, and advocacy for environmental change
which we define as justifiable rights that are believed to belong to every person. We value companies that are transparent in their workplace practices and commit to consistent improvements in employee welfare including safety and fair wages.
LOCAL SOURCING AND COMMUNITY BUILDING
which we define as a preference to source goods and services that are manufactured and distributed locally; when purchased from distant sources, we look for companies invested in building and maintaining their communities.
Burning River Fest
You can’t brew great beer without great water, which is why GLBC founded The Burning River Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to improving, maintaining, and celebrating the vitality of our regional freshwater resources. Established in 2007 as an outgrowth of the continued success of the Burning River Fest, we have awarded almost $500,000 to local non-profit organizations. Our vision is to establish Northeast Ohio as the recognized environmental leader dedicated to the sustainability of its high quality freshwater resources. The Burning River Foundation core values are based in ecological conservation, environmental protection, education, and public involvement.
Through the Burning River Fest, we have also increased public awareness of the deteriorating yet historic Coast Guard Station, which has resulted in a collaborative cleanup and restoration effort by non-profit, corporate, and government entities. Burning River Fest has also helped put Whiskey Island and Wendy Park on the map as a wonderful greenspace right in the heart of Cleveland’s industry.