One of our core missions is to produce fantastic ales and lagers in a sustainable way, focusing on low impact practices, and source locally wherever possible. Beyond just following an efficient beer making process, our commitment extends into helping and educating our community, being involved in local government conversation, and making sure our own workforce is well taken care of. All our decisions from the very beginning are filtered through this philosophy to make sure it fits this core mission, and we reassess those same decisions over time as appropriate.
We feel it’s critical to our community and the world at large to embrace this core philosophy and expand on it as we grow the business over time. We want to reduce and eliminate our environmental impact every step of the way and feel this is just as an important legacy as the awesome beer we make. Below are some specifics in how we work to achieve sustainability and work with our community.
Pending B Corporation
Red Bear currently is working towards a “Pending B Corporation Status”, which will become fully “Certified” after 1 year of operations. A Certified B Corp is a business that has met the highest standards of social and environmental performance, transparency and legal accountability. The goal is basically to not only focus on profits, but also compete to be the best FOR the world.
There is an in depth review of business processes as well as periodic inspections completed that verify each B Corp business is meeting this higher standard of social and environmental requirements. Unlike normal corporations whom are legally responsible to their shareholders, B Corps are legally required to consider the impact of what they do as it relates to their stakeholders as well. This would be their employees, their suppliers, the nearby community, customers, and most obviously: the environment.
There are more than 2,500 Certified B Corporations in 50 countries all with the same socially responsible goal in mind. Find out at more at www.BCorporation.net
The entire site for Red Bear Brewing is centered around reuse and recycling. The building itself used to be an Ice House, built in 1931. Then later in 1941 the Uline Ice Arena was built next door to house the Washington Lions hockey team. What followed were 3 decades of use as a hockey, basketball, and music venue, including the famous first performance by the Beatles in the United States.
Then in the 1970’s, the site as a whole started falling into disuse and away from its former glory. Used as a jail, a waste sorting facility and finally a giant parking garage, it came close to demolition in the early 2000’s. Finally in the mid 2010’s, the Ice House and Uline Arena were fully revamped and given new life, saving both a historical structure as well as being able to reuse a massive building that was nearly sent to a landfill in its entirety. Since Red Brewing is environmentally focused as a core ethos, the site was highly attractive based on its history and overall goal of reclamation. It ended up being a key factor in Red Bear selecting the site to build our brewery in.
Beyond the base building, the style of the brewery focuses on rustic decor and simplicity and that lends to a minimal build out footprint. We don’t have large extensive millwork in the back bar like some places. Our ceilings are completely open, both for acoustics, and well as minimal construction. Also, our flooring is simply the original base concrete with some added touches to make it look great. Where we do need to build, we try to use reclaimed wood or recycled materials whenever appropriate.
All of our tables and benches and some other pieces of furniture are both made by Red Bear itself (Head Brewer & Founder Simon Bee is also a fine woodworker!), but also made from reclaimed wood. We buy reclaimed wood from local salvage businesses to use as much as we’re able. Save a tree, help support local small business - We call that a win/win! Some of these business if you would like to also support them are below.
[communityforklift.org] - Tanglewood, MD
[www.secondchanceinc.org] - Baltimore, MD
Efficiency is a critical component of sustainability as it’s best to simply reduce what we consume from the start where electricity, gas, and water are concerned. Throughout our space we aim to do just that. LED lighting is the standard throughout the space along with Energy Star certified equipment. On the Brewery side, our state of the art Steam Boiler that provides our hot filtered water for brewing can turn off the water heating when not in use. All of these items aim to reduce our electric and gas usage. For water, we are connected to the site’s water condenser system shared by everyone in the Uline Arena, allowing for efficiency of scale instead of everyone having their own smaller systems. Also our heat exchanger used in the brewing process recycles the filtered water used to cool hot wort, instead of dumping it like some breweries do.
In addition to the above items, one of the other efficiencies built into the site is the fact that 2 of the walls are earth bermed and underground. This helps across the board with insulation, retaining heat better in the winter, and staying cooler in the summer.
Did you know spent beer grain can be used for up to 40% of the diet for farm livestock? The brewing process removes most of the starches in the grain, making it an ideal feed for livestock. We donate all of our spent grain to local farmers. This keeps it out of any landfills it might otherwise end up in, as well as savings for the farmers who get the feed for free!
being a good neighbor
Read about how we’re partnering with other small businesses and organizations to keep things local