One Planet Brewing opens with 100% solar powered brewing
A new brewery in Surrey is set to launch its first beer brewed using 100% solar power generated on site. One Planet Brewing will brew all its beer in this way, using the latest photovoltaic solar panels, which will generate enough electricity to power all its brewing.
One Planet Brewing is a 15-hectolitre, electric brewery which has been launched with an initial investment of £250,000 from Hogs Back Brewery and will be based on the same site in Tongham, near Farnham. It will be run semi-autonomously, with an ambition to work with new investors and collaborative partners once trial brewing and marketing are completed.
The first beer from One Planet Brewing is a 5.5% full-bodied Hazy IPA, with a creamy mouthfeel and intense citrus and berry fruit notes. Initially available in keg, some cans of Hazy IPA will be available in October. The brewing team, led by head brewer Miles Chesterman, is developing a series of craft styles, likely to include New England IPAs, Pale Ales, Helles, Roasted Ales and Fruit Beers.
One Planet Brewing will also use home-grown hops wherever possible. These are grown adjacent to the brewery, so travel less than one food mile before being added to the brew. They are dried, vacuum packed and stored chilled within 24 hours of picking, to maintain maximum freshness.
Most of the beer will be sold in fully reusable kegs, mini kegs or glass flagons, with some going into 440ml aluminium cans – the ‘one trip’ pack with the lowest carbon footprint. Beers will be sold through the Brewery Tap and on site Shop, and website, at a price which is currently about 20% higher than other beers. A pint in the Tap room will retail at around £6.50, while beers to take away from the shop will be c.£3.60/pint.
One Planet Brewing will be looking to distribute its beers through selected partner pubs and retail outlets, where this can be done in a sustainable way, by using reusable packaging and as soon as possible, an electric dray. Distribution will offered only to customers within a 30-mile radius of the brewery.
Hogs Back Brewery managing director Rupert Thompson said: “Our investment to launch One Planet Brewing is an evolution of the ambitious sustainability agenda that has been fundamental to Hogs Back from the outset, and we are proud to have been the founding investor behind this new venture.
“It is, we believe, the first UK brewery to make the commitment to brew using only solar power generated on site. We are working hard on the next steps to take One Planet Brewing beers as close to zero carbon as we practically can for all the elements that we can control and with the minimum of offsetting, ideally within the next year.”
One Planet Brewing’s mission is to ‘only take out what we put in’, and its brewing capacity will be limited by the amount of solar energy it can generate. The brewery has three 5.2 kilowatt batteries. It expects to produce more solar energy than it needs during sunny months, so will sell its excess to the grid, and buy back what it needs over the winter months when its solar production is limited. Initially, this means just four or five brews per month.