New Belgium and Bell’s Brewery expand partnership with MicroStar to boost sustainability in brewing

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In a significant move to enhance sustainability and efficiency within the craft beer industry, New Belgium has integrated Bell’s Brewery into its existing partnership with MicroStar Logistics. This strategic expansion, underpinned by a long-term agreement, will see all of Bell’s acclaimed brands, including the highly popular Bell’s Two Hearted IPA and Oberon Ale, transition to MicroStar’s innovative shared-keg model. This model, adopted by New Belgium in 2018, has already demonstrated substantial environmental and economic benefits.

Strategic Benefits of the Partnership

The partnership leverages MicroStar’s dense global network of shareable kegs, which notably reduces the distance empty kegs travel, thus significantly lowering greenhouse gas emissions. This collaboration aligns with New Belgium’s mission to adopt sustainable business practices, marking a key step towards its goal of minimizing environmental impact. Joe Davis, Chief Operating Officer of New Belgium, emphasized the alignment of values and operational synergy with MicroStar, describing their teams as an extension of their breweries.

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Environmental and Economic Impact

By shifting to a shared-keg system, New Belgium and Bell’s Brewery are set to realize not only cost savings but also environmental benefits. The shared-keg model is reported to reduce the collective carbon footprint of participating brewers by over 10 million kg of CO2e annually, according to an ISO-14040 framework Life Cycle Assessment conducted by Deloitte. This model presents a stark contrast to the traditional owned-keg model, offering a more sustainable and economically viable option for the brewing industry.

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Industry and Expert Perspectives

Casey Dodson, MicroStar’s Senior Vice President, Global Commercial, noted the deep commitment of both New Belgium and Bell’s Brewery to quality and sustainability. The expansion of this partnership is seen as a natural progression, driven by shared values and a mutual focus on long-term success and environmental stewardship.

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The Broader Industry Impact

This partnership not only sets a benchmark for sustainability in brewing but also encourages other companies within the industry to reconsider their supply chain practices. The successful implementation of such sustainable models by industry leaders like New Belgium and Bell’s Brewery can inspire similar initiatives across the sector, potentially leading to widespread environmental benefits.

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