When Tom Riemondy was asked why his brewery sends his company’s brewing waste to Wasatch Resource Recovery (“Wasatch”), he candidly responded, “because our wastewater permit requires it”. Tom hails from a family steeped in beer brewing history and is one of Fisher Brewing’s three founder-owners. Many microbreweries send their brewing waste down the drain, which can result in significant surcharges from wastewater treatment plants. Other breweries have their material hauled to landfills.
“While we might be small cookies in the overall scheme of things, it makes us feel good helping out the environment and our community.” – Tom Riemondy; Founder
While regulatory compliance is a requirement for all businesses, it is also true that Fisher Brewing’s founding principles promote a community minded focus. Making a conscious effort to route brewing waste to Wasatch’s anaerobic digestion project is indicative of the role Tom and his partners want to see their brewery play in the community. Instead of sending the material to a destination where the resource negatively impacts the community, he wanted to find a way to send the material to WRR where the end result is a renewable fuel source that replaces a fossil fuel. When reflecting on Fisher’s sustainability efforts, Tom states, “While we might be small cookies in the overall scheme of things it makes us feel good helping out the environment and our community.”
Good intentions aside, Fisher Brewery still needed to address some logistical challenges to achieve their waste diversion goals. Fortunately, Fisher, together with other breweries and distilleries, was able to convince their grease trap hauler to develop a separate route for brewing and distilling waste. Fisher fills 250 gallon plastic containers with the waste and their hauler uses a pump truck to remove the material from the containers. Wasatch couldn’t be happier with the situation- waste from alcohol production yields high volumes of gas and the material can be easily fed into the digesters. As Tom states, the brewery is able to, “stretch the use of resources to reduce their overall global impact”- certainly a worthy goal for individuals and organizations, alike!