• Picking up homebrewing: Bottling day

    April 5, 2020 by

    Two weeks have passed since brew day, and we are ready to transfer the beer from the fermentor to the bottles. Bottling day is a more hands-on task that can be a bit messy the first few times. The process involves tons of equipment cleaning and sanitation. (This is part two of three in the… Read more

  • CARES Act & SBA Loan Program: What it Means for Craft Breweries?

    March 31, 2020 by

    The passing of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 27, 2020 provided support for local businesses through Title 1: “Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed.” The Brewers Association held a webinar summarizing the legislation and provided guidance to brewers on how to navigate through these turbulent times. (The webinar recording… Read more

  • Picking up homebrewing: Brew day

    March 22, 2020 by

    If you’re looking to pick up a new hobby while stuck social distancing yourself… consider homebrewing. I’m on my third batch now, and although I have been studying the beer industry intently over the past few years, I must say: it gave me a whole new appreciation for the industry. The initial start-up costs pushed… Read more

  • Maintaining productivity from home

    March 11, 2020 by

    With outbreak spreading and universities closing their doors, students are forced to learn how to be productive from home. This can be a major challenge for those not accustomed to this work setting, surrounded by distractions capable of destroying productivity. Here are some things I try to stick to when working from home. As background,… Read more

  • My 2020 Undertakings

    January 4, 2020 by

    We are now a few days into the new year, and I want to share my list of personal undertakings. (Using undertakings rather than resolutions as it is sounds much more aggressive. Gives it that “GET AFTER IT!” mentality.) Read for fun more often: In academia, it is easy to get sucked into the world… Read more

  • What would it take to change your mind?

    December 20, 2019 by

    It’s a pretty simple question, but powerful nonetheless. In a world of information, we choose which is worthy of our attention and which is not. With this, we easily become subject to confirmation bias — the idea that when we gather new information, we interpret it in a way to support what we think we… Read more

  • From the farm to the pint glass: How Michigan hops are produced

    September 16, 2019 by

    Earlier this month, some Michigan State University Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics graduate students and faculty attended (and participated in) Dog Star Hops’ harvest. Hops are such an interesting specialty crop, with one of the most labor-intensive growing processes and unique harvests. Traditionally, the Pacific Northwest (PNW) states of Washington, Idaho, and Oregon have grown… Read more

  • Sustainable Brewing. Part V: Miscellaneous Practices

    September 3, 2019 by

    Although I divide sustainability into water, energy, and landfill diversion practices, breweries are also engaging in miscellaneous strategies that help reduce their environmental impact and improve community relationships. Examples of miscellaneous practices include forming “green” committees, partnering with environmental organizations, and supporting educational programs. Founders Brewing Company created “Strike Force Green” to help build community… Read more

  • Sustainable Brewing. Part IV: Landfill Diversion

    August 26, 2019 by

    Though water and energy come to mind first when thinking of natural resources and sustainability, it is also crucial for brewers to consider how to handle and reduce waste as each barrel of beer produces approximately 0.14 U.S. tons (280 lbs) of solid waste (Brewers Association, 2017). Landfill diversion practices include reusing byproducts of the… Read more

  • Sustainable Brewing. Part III: Energy and Carbon Reduction

    August 19, 2019 by

    Reducing thermal and electrical energy use—and thus reducing carbon emissions—impacts brewers’ environmental and financial sustainability by reducing both contributions to global climate change and energy expenditures, which can account for as much as 8% of a brewery’s overhead costs (Olajire, 2012; Sloane, 2012). Some low-cost energy efficient strategies that nearly any brewery can adopt are… Read more

  • Sustainable Brewing. Part II: Water and Wastewater

    August 12, 2019 by

    Beer is 90-95% water and is therefore a vital input in craft beer production (Olajire, 2012). However, water use goes beyond what is seen in the bottle or can. Water is used, and wastewater is generated, in nearly all components of the brewing process. Calculating total water use is essential to knowing the true environmental… Read more

  • Sustainable Brewing. Part I: Introduction

    August 6, 2019 by

    Over the course of the next few weeks, I will be posting about sustainability in the brewing process. Specifically, I will focus on water, energy, and solid waste, as these were the facets of sustainability I examined in my thesis. However, a lot of interesting things are happening in other areas of sustainability, including a… Read more

  • Advice to an incoming master’s student.

    August 2, 2019 by

    Before I began my master’s program, my advisor, Dr. Hillary Sackett-Taylor, gave me some advice on how to get through graduate school. With summer coming to a close, I want to offer some advice to incoming master’s students that builds on some of the advice she passed down to me. It is tailored towards thesis… Read more

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