BirdSong Brewery uses solar power to craft beer

CHARLOTTE — Even though Earth Day is April 22, a brewery in NoDa prides itself on celebrating our planet 365 days a year by converting a free resource: solar power. According to owner Chris Goulet, sustainability has always been a part of the mission at BirdSong Brewery Co.

Goulet says by using about 220 solar panels, the brewery is able to generate about 40% of the electricity they use annually.

“We have always focused on recycling even when were tiny, like we bale our cardboard and make sure all of our recyclables are sorted correctly. But the big thing we were able to do in 2018 was put in a solar array on our roof,” Goulet said.

Goulet says during the warmest part of the day, normally between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the field of panels can generate enough power for the entire building.

He said the panels not only cut their electricity bill but it also helps with another vital resource.

“Most electricity in Mecklenburg County is actually nuclear and that uses a very large amount of water which gets vaporized, so we essentially save water indirectly,” Goulet explained.

In addition, the brewery can recycle its grains for local farmers.

“Once we’ve mashed in and used the malted barley, it doesn’t really have any more brewing purposes, but it works great as a feed for cattle and sheep. You can also make really cool dog treats out of it,” Goulet said.

Goulet said while the brews are important, he hopes BirdSong’s impact in Charlotte will extend beyond beer.

BirdSong hosts several creek clean-ups, as well as other volunteer opportunities throughout the year. To learn more about how you can get involved, click here.

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Madi Baggett

Madi Baggett, wsoctv.com

Madi is a meteorologist for Severe Weather Center 9.