Not sure if you know this – and you should! – but Bellingham could win a whopping $5 million prize. All we have to do is save energy, something you should be doing anyway. Bellingham is one of 50 semi-finalists for the Georgetown University Energy Prize. The winner of the prize will have reduced their energy consumption the most AND set a good example for others to follow. That $5 million will be spent on our community to save more money for our community, not to mention being a good steward of the earth. Breweries are a big part of this!

Kilowatt Kitty

Bellingham Energy Prize is a group of organizations that include some of our community’s heavy hitters in do gooding and awesomeness: Bellingham Public Schools, Cascade Natural Gas, City of Bellingham, Community Energy Challenge, Opportunity Council, Puget Sound Energy, RE Sources for Sustainable Communities, Sustainable Connections, and Western Washington University.

These organizations are encouraging every business and household to join the challenge, reduce their energy consumption, be apart of the solution.

Throughout the month of July, the Bellingham Energy Prize (BEP) will be celebrating Independents Month with local Bellingham breweries. Kilowatt Kitty will be raising a glass to Stones Throw, Boundary Bay, Aslan, and Kulshan Brewing Co., and toasting to all of the impressive work they do at each brewery to empower our community and save energy! To launch things off they are throwing “Happy Hours of Power” on these dates.

  • July 12, Tuesday, 5:00 – 6:30pm – Stones Throw Brewery
  • July 20, Wednesday, 5:00 – 6:30pm – Boundary Bay Brewery
  • July 24, Sunday, 12:00 – 3:00pm – Aslan Brewing
  • July 26, Tuesday, 5:00 – 6:30pm – Kulshan Brewing Co.

Be the first to learn about special edition beers brewed just for the BEP, take your picture with Kilowatt Kitty, win prizes, sign up for the challenge and come support your independent brewers.

We reached out to a few of the brewers to find out what they are doing to reduce their energy footprint and help Bellingham win the Energy Prize. Dave Vitt, Owner of Kulshan Brewing Co, said the Sustainable Connections team has come in to talk to staff about why it’s important to sign up for the challenge. Kulshan does a lot to reduce its energy footprint.

We reclaim cooling water from wort chilling at both locations. We have high efficiency LED lighting at both. At K2 we have a high efficiency heat pump type water heater for the taproom that also gets supplied by preheated water from scavenged heat off our boiler. We have 3 heat pumps for our HVAC system. We custom built a cleaning solution recovery system that saves thousands of gallons of water and cleaning chemicals that we would otherwise have to put down the drain. Our spent grain goes out to a local dairy farm for feed. – Dave Vitt, Owner, Kulshan Brewing

A reminder that while brewing is very energy intensive it actually uses less water per ounce of product than most other commercial drinking products. BUT it still uses about 2 gallons of water per fluid ounce and any steps these breweries are taking to reduce their energy use it awesome!

Save water. Drink beer!

Aslan Brewing is well known for its sustainable practices, including the recent release of Solar Ale, with proceeds going for a solar panel at Lydia Place. They also recently became a B Corp which means Aslan had to go through a rigorous process to prove they were taking steps to be a socially and environmentally conscious business.

unnamedThere are numerous ways Bellingham could use that $5 million, but the city plans to use the money for energy saving projects that will benefit all of Bellingham.

Bellingham’s breweries are a huge part of our community and they often lead the way for other businesses. They consistently give back, whether it’s through beer, monetary donations, or sponsoring events. They are leading the way again, with the help of Sustainable Connections and the Bellingham Energy Prize.

But getting Bellingham the win really comes down to you! We need you to go out and support your local breweries, but, mainly, sign up for the Bellingham Energy Prize Challenge. To learn about how you can be apart of this go to their events page. Be apart of the historic movement that gets Bellingham the $5 million prize and pushes us towards a more sustainable future.