NORFOLK, Va. - A Norfolk brewery is being recognized for its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.
Coelacanth Brewery, located in the Ghent section of the city, received the title of "Green Brewery of the Year" last week. The award, given by the Virginia Green Program, recognizes businesses' efforts to protect the environment and support green tourism.
Coelacanth Brewery owner Kevin Erskine says he has been using green practices at the brewery since they opened three years ago.
"We have to do as much as we can to do as little as we can to impact the environment," explained Erskine.
Those practices start with the brewing process. Erskine says they recycle their water and reuse it when possible. They also give their spent grain to farmers who use it to feed their cows.
Inside their brewery, Erskine has stopped giving straws and plastic bags to customers. He also doesn't sell bottled water; instead, he puts out a water station with reusable cups for guests to use themselves.
"Somethings are a little bit more difficult, but we just want to make sure that we are minimizing our impact on the environment. It’s worth the little more time and money that we spend to do that."
Coelacanth also received the Virginia Green Travel Leader Award in 2016 and 2017. While he is thrilled to add another honor to his brewery's walls, he says he's not taking these green steps to be recognized; he's doing it to set an example.
"We are doing the best we can, and hopefully others will follow suit," he explained. "I have kids, other people have kids, and we want to make it better - not worse - and that is what is important to me."