The folks at Sierra Nevada Brewing Company are making green beer, but in this case, we’re not talking about food coloring. Their brewery in Chico, California uses alternative energy to meet almost 90% of their total energy needs, which is a monumental achievement when you consider the size of their facility and the amount of energy that goes into the brewing process.

Virtually every rooftop is covered in solar panels, making the brewery the second-largest privately-owned solar generation facility in California. And the part that I think is really cool, waste biogas from the brewing process is digested by 4 hydrogen fuel cells, producing 300kW (each) of continuous power. In addition to the electical power, the fuel cells also contribute heat energy the system, used to fire the boilers.

This article does a great job of highlighting these and other sustainable choices that the brewery has made. There are some great photos as well, so please click through and have a look.

If you have the chance to visit the brewery, take the tour. And by all means, plan to stay for a while in the taproom. Sierra Nevada distributes about six different beers nationally, but at the brewery you can sample no less than 18 specialty brews.

I’ve always been a big fan of Sierra Nevada, but now that I know the beer I’m drinking was produced using every available sustainable practice, I can enjoy my brew and feel like I’m doing my part for Mother Earth as well.