The Cowbell Brewhouse

BREWING SUSTAINABLY

Cowbell's state-of-the-art brewing and packaging process was planned and created with two goals in mind: creating world-class beer of the highest quality - and doing so sustainably. The Rectification Boil System, innovations in water usage and treatment, advanced packaging technology, and reuse of brewing by-products allow us to minimize environmental impact.


THE RECTIFICATION BOIL SYSTEM: A CONTINENTAL FIRST

Cowbell is the first brewery in North America, and the first craft brewery in the world, with a Rectification Boil System, known as the Rectifier.

The Rectifier increases efficiency of the brew kettle by 80%, meaning more beer can be brewed in less time using less energy, while conserving 250 litres of water per brew, and providing 100% removal of unwanted volatile compounds.

The Cowbell Rectification Boil System

The Rectifier

WATER USAGE AND TREATMENT: A CLOSED-LOOP SYSTEM

The Cowbell brewhouse and cellar has been meticulously designed to achieve a craft beer world-class 3.5:1 water to beer ratio versus the craft average of 10-12:1.

Cowbell operates a closed-loop brewing system. All brewing water is sourced from an on-site proprietary well (water is treated through a three-step filtration process, including particle filtration, carbon filtration and UV light), then all wastewater is treated and released back into the ground on-site. Cowbell has an unprecedented zero impact on the municipal wastewater system. This is the pinnacle in sustainable brewing.

Cowbell also removes 99% of the organic load prior to discharging treated water back into the ground on-site.

Infographic of Closed-Loop Water System

The Closed-Loop System

During brewing, water is recovered by a vapour condenser on the brew kettle stack to direct hot water back into the Hot Liquor Tank to be reused in the brewing process.

High efficiency pumps and motors, coupled with variable speed drives, provide additional energy conservation.

A Miura boiler, powered by clean natural gas, operating at an unprecedented 85% efficiency, provides steam to the brewing process equipment.

PACKAGING: SAVING MILLIONS OF LITERS OF WATER

Krones designs and manufactures the most efficient canning lines on the market. The Krones canning line in use at Cowbell is approximately 10% more efficient (in terms of beer waste) than a typical in-line filler, uses less CO2 and provides the highest quality canned beer - this means increased flavour retention, shelf life and overall experience.

Image of the Krones Can Filling Process

The Krones Can-Filler

To reduce water consumption, a Krones Craftmate was specified with an ionized air rinse system to clean and prepare cans for filling. Instead of rinsing cans with precious water, which then goes down the drain, cans are cleaned with zero-waste ionized air, currently conserving approximately 10 million litres of water per year.

Ionized Can Rinser Rinsing Cans

The Ionized Air Can Rinser

REPURPOSING OF BREWING BY-PRODUCTS

Spent grain from the brewing process is high in crude protein and dietary fibre, is non-GMO and wheat-free. Cowbell spent grain is repurposed in a variety of ways: Cowbell Kitchen chefs prepare pasta and bake fresh bread weekly using the tasty grains, and a local entrepreneur produces specialty spent grain dog treats for sale in the Cowbell General Store and Online Store.

Additionally, the diversion of yeast, hops and solids provide a neighbouring farmer, located 2 kilometres from the brewery, nutritious feed for his cows.

The Spent-Grain Silo Outside the Cowbell Brewery

The Spent Grain Silo


LEARN ABOUT OUR OTHER SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVES