Sustainability from day one
The Alfa family brewery has been brewing its beers with natural-purity raw materials since its founding in 1870 in a sustainable, traditional way. We have been doing this for four generations now and the fifth generation has already been fully integrated into our brewery; we hope to continue our independent business for many generations.
The establishment of our brewery in 1870 can be seen as a form of corporate social responsibility. We were, as it were, far ahead of our time. As a farmer, we were able to provide day laborers with labor by the beer brewery in the winter and thus guaranteeing their livelihood. That in terms of staff.
But we have also taken new initiatives over the years in the field of the environment. Whether it concerns raw materials such as water or hops or CO2 reduction or energy measures, we have been on the road for almost 150 years!
Around 1900, the purchase of a so-called Berieslungs Kühler saved on hot water and shortly after the war we realized another 20% savings by again investing in a new cooling technology. At the same time, 10% less coal could be used for the same production. From the seventies of the last century, so far before the environment was high on the agendas of politics or business, we have really taken big steps. A natural water treatment plant naturally in 1970, brewing house optimization in 1980 (20% energy gain!) And a 50% reduction in CO2 purchasing through efficient reuse during production.
We are always looking for more sustainable methods and reuse. In 2013 we came second in a benchmark study on energy-efficient medium-sized breweries. In Europe! So for all medium-sized breweries throughout Europe, we have been among the most economical in the field of energy for some time.
In 2015, we switched to 100% green electricity and gas and through an adaptation to our rinsing machine, there was a further saving on energy and water consumption. For us is sustainability, the economical use of natural raw materials and the realization that we must treat people and the environment respectfully in the blood.
The barley itself was grown and at a later stage vermouth. The bostel (trot) is, among other things, still used as animal feed. In the beginning of the last century, Henri Meens did a test to plant hops in the hills around Thull. Unfortunately, this planting did not produce hop of sufficient quality to see the trial as successful and the project was stopped.
Below you will see a number of highlights in realized measures in the area of sustainability over the years with, if applicable, their respective reduction of environmental impact compared to the situation before.
YEAR & SAVING
ca. 1900 – Purchase of a Berieselungs Kühler approx. 5% on hot water
ca. 1913 – Trial with own hop planting by Henri Meens
ca. 1953 – Purchase of a plate cooler approx. 20% on hot water
1953 – Economiser avant la lettre about 10% on coal
1970 – Own water treatment plant naturally
1980 – Brouwhuis optimization about 20% energy gain
1980 – Structural deployment of frequency converters
1985 – CO2 recovery through reuse approx. 50% less CO2 purchase
1990 – Steam boiler optimization (pressure reduction) approx. 10% energy gain
1995 – Optimization of cooling system 2 systems approx. 10% electricity
2000 – Optimization compressed air 2 systems screw compressor approx. 3% electricity
2003 – Energy saving research
2005 – Malting purchase at regional malting transport costs at supplier
2013 – Most energy-efficient medium-sized brewery, except for Europe, according to benchmark research
2013 – LED lighting in production halls approx. 2% electricity
2014 – Outdoor lighting Catering businesses replaced by LED approx. 65%
2014 – Continuous monitoring of business processes (measuring = knowing) approx. 3% energy saving
2015 – Procurement of 100% green electricity and gas
2015 – Adjusting the rinsing machine approx. 5% energy and 40% water
2017 – Lighting in offices in LED approx. 2% electricity
2018 – The new bottle needs less glass about 5% glass