On Arizona’s west coast, a brewing revolution is taking place.
Mudshark Brewery already produces some of the best craft beers in the state, but it’s their continuing push towards a green brewery that is truly remarkable.
Solar energy is one of Arizona’s most prevalent natural resources, and Mudshark utilizes the power of the sun to help brew delicious hand crafted beers. Most of the daily brewing operations are powered directly from solar energy. Along with solar, Mudshark has taken other steps towards becoming a green brewery by donating spent grain to local farmers, switching from propane to natural gas, and instituting a water conservation plan which will take action in the upcoming year.
Mudshark is part of a craft brewing revolution that recognizes its ability to produce high quality products while being conscious about their effects on the environment. As more and more craft breweries begin to pop up across the country, it is evident that a unified push towards conservation and awareness is necessary.
Going green is great and all, but we all know that beer is the lifeblood of any brewery, and on that account Mudshark doesn’t disappoint. The beers coming out of the Lake Havasu City-based brewery are exceptional and diverse. No more are the days where boring beers and domestics dominate the market; Mudshark brewers concoct beers spanning styles, tastes, and preferences proving that there is a beer for everyone. Hop heads, malt maniacs, and anyone in between can find something from the local brewery that will appeal to their taste.
“I almost fell over in my chair when I got my first bill,”
Scott said about his electric bill after solar panels on the Mudshark Production Facility were activated.
The couple that owns Mudshark Brewing Co. went live with solar panels in January to power their brewery. Arizona’s sunshine made the move easy, Scott said, adding he expects to save an average of $700 monthly on electric costs.
Next on the list of green improvements is using solar panels to heat water needed to make their brews, expected to be online by the end of May. Scott said the installation will reduce propane costs resulting in “significant savings.”
But the couple isn’t stopping there.
They have been experimenting with growing vegetables and want to construct a greenhouse behind their facility to grow food for use at their restaurants. The couple also expects to recycle water used for the brewery to the greenhouse. And Scott said he expects to use vegetable oil to power a double-decker company bus.
The Stockings started moving toward reducing their “footprint” about five years ago when they decided to can their brews. Scott said the recyclable material eliminates sunlight from spoiling the beer, compared to glass, it takes less time to cool in a can and is lightweight reducing fuel shipping costs. The couple ships their used grains after the brew process to a farmer in Kingman for feed and uses recyclable materials for their cardboard and plastic rings for their beer carriers.
“Everything kind of goes hand-in-hand,” Scott said.
“We are all trying to reduce our footprint. It’s not that difficult (to incorporate green improvements into businesses) as it was probably five years ago. If (business owners) can save $50 a month, that’s money they didn’t have last month and it’s doing the right thing for the planet.”
At the beginning of 2016 Mudshark started recycling their waste water.
Lake Havasu City water is not ideal for brewing. Therefore, the breweries must strip everything out of the water, then soften it to the desired Ph and mineral levels.
This process wastes 2 gallons of water to generate 1 gallon of beer.
Mudshark has been able to add another step in conforming into a sustainable local Arizona brewery.
This year they re-invested 2 tanks- 1,500 gallon & 3,000 to capture the RO discharge which is then run through a coal filter, and recycled into the steel tank for all sanitation procedures, such as: cleaning tanks, kegs, etc.
Next time you find yourself reaching for another boring beer, remember there is a revolution taking place. Rise up, and do your part in supporting Arizona craft beer. Ask questions. Get involved. Only you can help put Arizona on the map as the great beer destination we know it can be. The future of beer is now, and Mudshark plans on sticking around.