All Natural Ingredients
While Food Canada allows over 100 ingredients in beer, Steam Whistle uses only four, all natural ingredients (pure spring water, malted barley, hops and yeast), all GMO-free. Although not required on alcohol packaging, Steam Whistle lists our ingredients on our bottles & cans because we believe the consumer deserves to be informed.
Our Green Bottle Really is Green
Since the first batch of Steam Whistle Pilsner rolled off the line in March, 2000 we have been proudly using our unique green glass bottle which is made with 30% more glass. This means the same bottle can potentially be washed, inspected and refilled more than 45 times - about three times as many as the industry standard brown bottle. Our painted logo not only saves trees from becoming label paper, but also eliminates ink, varnish and glue from contaminating the water drained from our bottle washer.
The Good Beer Folks are proud of the fact that every element from our packaging line is recycled: cardboard cartons, broken glass, old bottle caps, aluminum cans, scrap metal, and even shrink wrap are compacted in the bottle shop to be recycled into new packaging materials. We also have the "spent grain" from our brewhouse shipped to farmers in Wellington County to be used for animal feed.
Our bullfrogpowered® Brewery
Steam Whistle Brewing made the conscious choice in 2007 to support our friends at Bullfrog Power and help save our planet. Our Brewery chooses clean, renewable power with Bullfrog for 100% of our electricity requirements. This means, Bullfrog Power ensures the power going onto the grid on our behalf is coming from clean, green sources. Bullfrog’s green electricity comes from a blend of wind and low-impact hydro power sourced from new Canadian renewable energy facilities that have received EcoLogoM certification.
Cleaner Fuel for Cleaner Air
Since 2006, Steam Whistle Brewing has been using bio diesel in our delivery trucks. Canada Clean Fuels delivers their B20 Bio Diesel to our parking lot with a tanker during overnight hours to fill up all our trucks, a great convenience for our drivers. The largest trucks in our fleet have sizable fuel tanks and so run almost 100% of the time on Bio Diesel. In some far corners of the province, we may have to fill up with regular diesel, but as much as we can, we use this renewable fuel made from soya and recycled restaurant oil.
A company’s distribution fleet is often the biggest contributor to carbon count, so we’ve taken other measures to lessen our impact. Our fleet over the years has included notably efficient vehicles, like Canada’s first SMART Car, energy-awarded Minis and several hybrids. We are currently running a fully automatic MAC Trucks tractor trailer and realizing massive fuel savings. We have a well maintained fleet to improve fuel efficiency and have updated engines in a number of our vintage vehicles.
Keeping Cool with Enwave
Since the year 2000, Steam Whistle Brewing has opted to use Enwave's Deep Water Cooling for temperature control in our building instead of conventional air conditioners that rely on harmful CFC refrigerants and eat up valuable energy. The icy cold water drawn through intake pipes deep in Lake Ontario moves through our facilities giving off chill (prior to it travelling to Toronto household taps) and helps provide a comfortable working environment for our staff each summer. We also use this deep lake cooling when our beer is refrigerated for 3-4 weeks during the ‘lagering’ process of making our Pilsner. Steam Whistle draws 60 tons of water for Deep Lake Cooling annually reducing avoiding 79 tons of carbon dioxide per year generated from air conditioning ( equivalent to 16 fewer cars on the road). Deep Lake Cooling also reduces our power bill by the equivalent of 7 fewer homes that would require electricity.
Steam is the most efficient form of heat and is the exclusive resource used by Steam Whistle to heat water for brewing and climate control of our brewery. Instead of having our own natural gas boiler on site running 24/7, we source steam from Enwave's efficient central District Steam Plant drawing only what we need, when we need it. This same steam is used to sound off our operational steam whistle every hour from 9am to 5pm and when visitors tour our brewery, they can sound off the whistle as well.
Energy-Efficient Equipment & Lighting
In the winter of 2008, Steam Whistle Brewing installed a new state-of-the-art Brewhouse (sourced in the Czech Republic) to craft our Premium Pilsner. This new, efficient Brewhouse reduces our waste water output down to 1/3 of the older Brewhouse, a considerable savings to the environment! The same new technology also reduces the energy needed in our operations. We capture the steam coming off the top of the brewing vessels and condense it. The resulting captured heat energy is used to produce all our own hot water needs at the brewery. First we heat up spring water coming into the brewhouse for the next batch of beer, then we flip a switch and begin heating municipal tap water for bottle/keg/tank/floor washing later that day.
A voluntary audit with GreenTBiz.org, partly funded by the Ministry of Energy, enlightened Steam Whistle about some energy saving options for our facility's lighting. Rather than do a wholesale changeover which would result in older fixtures and bulbs potentially going into a landfill, Steam Whistle has taken a more conservative approach, this year adopting energy-efficient fixtures and bulbs as old fixtures burn out or as we expand our facilities. We've become more conscious of leaving electrical lights off and taking advantage of the natural sunlight flowing into our building, and we've added motion detectors to cut down on power usage. We’ve added a power capacitor to our main electrical panel for more efficient power usage (improving our power factor from .79 to .97) among other projects.
It's these kinds of energy savings that Steam Whistle keeps in mind. We will strive to continually improve by sourcing new energy-efficient technology in our production facilities.
Water Conservation & Purification
Water is the single highest volume input used at any brewery. We source our spring water for brewing from the Caledon Hills because of its purity; no need to de-chlorinate, filter or de-mineralize the spring water as it tastes so pure and delicious arriving to us from an aquifer deep below a layer of granite rock, protecting it from urban, industrial and agricultural run-off. But aside from the spring water we use in brewing our beer, we also use municipal tap water in our operations to wash bottles, cans, kegs, tanks and floors of the packaging line, as well as water in our office, admin and hospitality areas. We’ve launched a program to conserve as much water as possible through the installation of water-saving equipment like our new bottle washer, keg filling line and shower heads on the packaging line. We have undertaken staff education/training. We have eliminated all phosphates from our cleaning agents so as not to contaminate waste water here and have begun working with some water quality experts to improve the purity of our waste water from operations. Our ‘thinking big’ goal long-term is to make our waste water drinkable. We know there is a long road of change and investment ahead.
Waste Diversion Program
The brewery's on-site event space hosts several hundred parties annually and to reduce waste generated on site we send leftover edibles to Good Shepherd, Toronto’s largest street mission which serves more than 1300 meals a day to reduce waste generated on site. Other organic waste is composted. Combine this program with the recycling of materials from our production line and the re-use of spent grain from the brewhouse, and we currently divert about 98% of waste from our operations away from landfill.
Clean Air Commute
A clean air commute to the brewery is encouraged with our proximity to local bike paths, transit and commuter trains. And, we provide showers, towel service and covered bike racks for our staff.
We’ve supported cycling in the larger community by creating a network of Public Bike Repair Stations in 30 communities across Canada.
Support for the Green Community
Steam Whistle lends support to many sustainable organizations and events annually, hoping to help integrate environmental responsibility into daily lives.
Steam Whistle Brewing has proudly provided support to these green organizations:
Green Office Space
In our office, we have introduced a number of green initiatives which have reduced our use of power, paper and chemical compounds. By working towards being a digital office (which consists of non-printed reports and invoices and using electronic funds transfer) as well as defaulting to 2-sided printing, we have cut our paper usage in half. We are cognizant of purchasing earth-friendly inks, and have been disposing of e-waste through a qualified company. In 2014, we switched our copier paper to Step Forward Paper, a wheat-based, 80% tree-free paper.
Retro Electro: green electric powered vintage hot rod
This custom-built, earth friendly vehicle combines a 1958 pickup truck saved from the metal scrap heap, retrofitted with a high efficiency AC motor powered by 100% green electricity from Bullfrog. Possibly the world's first wind-powered hot rod!