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.
Nearly 93 million miles away, the sun is Brewing Good, too. In February 2017, we installed a 62-panel photovoltaic array on the roof of our brewery. These 325 watt, made in the USA modules have the capacity to reach 20.1 kW and have the capabilities to produce enough energy to power 2 US homes for a year (or nearly 16,000 cases for all you beer drinkers out there). The use of these solar panels offsets 13 tons of CO2 emissions per year, which is the equivalent of planting 200 trees. Curious how much power we’re producing from our solar panels at any given time? Check out our live solar widget below for on the minute updates!
In addition to our brewery panels, we installed solar panels on the brewpub roof in November 2009. The use of these panels preheats incoming city water used in the brewpub and offsets an average American household’s use of natural gas per year!
Currently, we are producing
of power from our solar panels
Since installation, we've produced
cases of beer
using 100% solar power.
Month of ServiceTo show our appreciation and support for the communities we’re proud to serve in, 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.
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 over $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.
Through the Burning River Fest, we have also increased public awareness of the historic Coast Guard Station, which has resulted in a collaborative cleanup and restoration effort by non-profit, corporate, and government entities. In 2016, the Cleveland Metroparks led a major renovation project at the Coast Guard Station funded by the Burning River Foundation. Repairs ranged from landscaping to the addition of historically accurate new windows and doors. Click below to read more about the project and the Burning River Festival.
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. In 2016, we were able to reduce our water usage rate by 9% and we continue to encourage our employees to look for more ways to keep reducing that number.
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. Take, make, remake--that's how we operate.
Great Lakes Brewing Company engages in economic, social, and environment practices that achieve a sustainable yet profitable business. We aim to be a thoughtful 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. When making purchasing decisions, we value:
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.
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.