Good News For ‘Green’ Brews: Consumers Say They’ll Pay More For Sustainable Beer

Allagash employees Salim Raal, left, and Brendan McKay stack bottles of Golden Brett, a limited release beer fermented with a house strain of Brettanomyces yeast. The Maine brewery recently installed solar panels as part of its sustainability initiatives. CREDIT: DEREK DAVIS
Allagash employees Salim Raal, left, and Brendan McKay stack bottles of Golden Brett, a limited release beer fermented with a house strain of Brettanomyces yeast. The Maine brewery recently installed solar panels as part of its sustainability initiatives. CREDIT: DEREK DAVIS

BY RACHEL D. COHEN

Breweries are quite creative these days when it comes to saving energy. Double Mountain Brewery in Oregon uses refillable beer bottles, Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing turns its waste grain and water into compost for aquaculture, and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company recovers carbon dioxide from the fermentation cycle.

Investment in energy-efficient technologies can be costly, but according to a studypublished last week in PLOS ONE, these investments may be worthwhile.

A majority of the 1,000 U.S. beer drinkers surveyed say they are willing to pay more for sustainably-produced beer, and on average, they would pay around $1.30 more per six-pack.

“One dollar and 30 cents is not a small amount if you consider the average price of a six-pack,” says Sanya Carley, an associate professor at Indiana University Bloomington’s School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and the lead author of the survey.

According to data from IRI Worldwide, a Chicago-based market research firm, the average price of a six-pack of beer is $5.96. For craft beer specifically, an average six-pack costs $9.36.