Beer made by wind power coming to Wisconsin brewery

FILE - In this May 7, 2015 file photo, craft beers are served at the Maine Beer Company in Freeport, Maine. With an explosion in growth in the craft beer industry over the last decade, some universities are now offering classes on the business of craft beer. One of the newest is an online certificate program being offered by the University of Vermont starting in February 2016. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

APPLETON, Wis. (WBAY) – Friday is Earth Day and one Appleton, Wisconsin brewery is celebrating with a big announcement about a major energy change for their production.

Stone Cellar Brewpub is aware of their impact on the environment, since they’re located right on the Fox River in Appleton. So come April 30th, their entire operation, from heating the product, to lighting the building, will be run on wind power they’ll request from their electric company.

“It’s the right thing to do,” said President and Brewmaster, Steven Lonsway, “it costs us a little bit more money, for sure, but we’re not going to turn that over to the customer, we’re going to absorb that cost, we just feel it’s a thing we need to do to protect our mother Earth.”

It’s an idea Lonsway investigated for about one year, after powering his own home with wind power.

“I’ve been doing it at my house for about 5 years now,” said Lonsway, “and a light bulb came on, a wind-powered light bulb came on in my head and said, hey, why am I not doing this as a business.”

Other breweries across the country and the state are taking similar steps, like Badger State Brewery in Green Bay, also powered by wind.

“We have challenges being in an older building,” said Lonsway, “but we’re trying to get over some of these obstacles, and become as green as we possibly can as a business.”

While there won’t be wind turbines onsite at the brewery, Lonsway says they’re looking for other options about how to help the environment, like putting solar panels on the roof.

“The thing is, we use a lot of hot water here in the brewery,” said Lonsway, “and we can have the heat generated to heat that water, from the sun.”

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