The Utilization of Brewery By-Products Generated by North Carolina Craft Breweries

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Title: The Utilization of Brewery By-Products Generated by North Carolina Craft Breweries
Author: Sananikone, Jayna
Abstract: Sananikone, Jayna. Master of Environmental Assessment. The Utilization of Brewery By- Products Generated by North Carolina Craft Breweries. The rise of craft breweries in North Carolina recently developed within the last 40 years; therefore, there is little to no information on the methods of by-product disposal used by these craft breweries. This study was conducted to fill that gap. The study focuses on the utilization of brewery by-products generated by North Carolina craft breweries. An investigation was conducted in which 208 North Carolinian craft brewers were contacted to participate in a simple survey regarding their operations and by-product disposal methods. Forty-two (42) craft brewers responded and participated in the study. The research found regardless of craft brewers’ location, size, establishment time frame, metro area, and annual production there was no common disposal method among all the craft brewery by-products; however, most of the craft brewers disposed of brewery by-products either two to three times a week or when required and incurred no costs associated with the disposal of brewery by-products. In addition, the research found that spent hops and spent yeast has a larger variation in disposal methods. Small-craft brewers and urban craft brewers use a wider range of disposal methods for spent hops and spent yeast compared to medium- and large-craft brewers and rural craft brewers. Limitations to this research study could result from the participation rate, i.e., the study participants represent a fifth of North Carolina craft brewers. Further, while the respondents were geographically distributed across North Carolina, population-based survey statistics were not used to guide the participant selection. As a result, the results of this study may not fully represent the utilization of brewery by-products generated by all North Carolina craft breweries. During the research study several craft brewers were contacted regarding clarifying metrics of volume produced annually or to elaborate on unique disposal methods. At the time of this study, some responses were not received; however, this does not affect the conclusions of the study. The results of this study could be of interest to varied environmental organizations (e.g., the NC Department of Environmental Quality, private engineering/consulting firms) for developing cooperative partnerships and by designing future investigations into how local brewery by-products can be used to remediate contaminated soils.
Date: 2022-05

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