I like beer. That’s not news to people who know me well. I also like solar energy. That’s obvious. How can I best take advantage of this combination? Hmmmmm……
I’ll be in Chico, CA to visit the FAFCO, Inc. solar panel manufacturing facility later this week. Chico happens to be home of Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, which happens to brew three of my favorite beers – Pale Ale, Torpedo Pale Ale, and Liberty Ale. How convenient!
Sierra Nevada also happens to have one of the largest private roof mounted solar electric systems in the United States. At 2 megawatts, it’s the same rating as the huge ground base solar array at Florida Gulf Coast University. Solar powered breweries are not uncommon, with others like New Belgium and Odell committing to solar energy. Sustainability and brewing go hand in hand, so it’s no surprise. After all, beer is natural, mostly sticking to the four natural ingredients of water, hops, malt, and yeast.
Will I get a chance to see the brewery during my short stay in Chico? Let’s just say it is definitely a priority. The question is, what access they will give me to see the solar energy system? I would love to see how they do things on the west coast, and bring back some thoughts about solar from brewery management.
Incidentally, a brewery is about to open up in my back yard in Naples, FL. No word from Naples Beach Brewery on whether they have any plans for solar energy, but I know just the guy if they decide to go in that direction!