Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

March 7, 2014 at 2:02pm

Beer News: Earth Day 2014 will be more awesome in Tacoma

Someone call Kim Archer. Let's party at Harmon Tap Room's beer garden right now.

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You don't hear it, do you? Bend an ear. No pitter-patter on the tin roof. Look outside. For a brief moment, it's not chilly or drizzling. It's not foggy or sleeting. The flagrantly unpleasant winter weather outside, weather that has slammed the South Sound since you kissed that stranger at First Night, is on hold for a brief second.

It's 57 degrees outside Walkie Talkie World Headquarters. Beach day! Let's grab a sixer and head to the beach.

Since weather and beer in on the brain, let me relay that Harmon Brewing Company announced it is one of the first brewers in the U.S. with an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) label for its beer, issued through the Institute for Environmental Research and Education's (IERE) Earthsure program. According to a news release, "Earthsure, the first EPD program in North America, worked with five Pacific Northwest breweries last year to develop automated software for this science based eco-labeling for the beer industry. Partial funding for the project was provided by the city of Tacoma - the first Life Cycle City in America. Much like a nutrition label, the beer EPD is a disclosure of product data and analyzed the following impacts: Climate change, Stratospheric ozone depletion, Acidification, Eutrophication, Smog Profile Toxicity, Water Consumption and Land Use."

"Operating a sustainable brewery just makes good business sense," said co-owner Pat Nagle in the release. "We have always kept an eye on our efficiencies. But this takes into account a more complete profile of all our footprints, using the science of life cycle assessment (LCA). We can look at packaging, water use, the waste stream and get instant environmental feedback."

This isn't a shocker as Nagle is a huge outdoors enthusiast - from skiing to biking to standing in the rain selling Christmas trees.

The software system provides pie charts that give the brewers a snapshot of areas in which they can reduce their resource use.  Now that the label software is live, IERE, based on Vashon Island, is working actively with the craft brewing industry to spread the word about the advantages of being an Earthsure Brewer and bringing other sustainable brewers into the fold.

That's cool.

To help commemorate their Earthsure TYPE III eco-labels, the Harmon and several other local brewers have special plans for April 22 - Earth Day 2014. A parade of human-powered vehicles will deliver kegs of beer from each of the breweries to the Harmon Tap Room in the Stadium District by 6 p.m. There, Earth Day revelers can share in beer specials and other festivities.  A partial list of participating breweries include:

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