Brewing company creates sustainable beer to lower CO2 emissions

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By Rachel Maniquis

Migration Brewing Company, based in Portland, Oregon, has a different approach to reducing greenhouse gases. Last month, it launched its first low-carbon beer, called the Little Foot Red. The use of renewable energy, local ingredients, and limited distribution were the main factors in creating this sustainable beer.

Little Foot Red Beer
Little Foot Red Beer

What is a low-carbon beer? It’s a beer whose production process uses less energy, and therefore creates less carbon dioxide emissions.

According to an article from, with the help of consultant Molly Hatfield of Hatfield Sustainability Resources, Migration Brewery discovered that brewing a keg of one of their beers – called “Blood Sweat and Red” – generated 124 pounds of CO2. The brewery, in collaboration with students from Portland State University, came up with Little Foot Red beer as a solution.

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Hatfield found that the high carbon footprint of the company’s other beer was due in part to the extensive use of electricity and natural gas to heat and cool during the brewing process. Other factors included CO2 emissions from growing and transporting ingredients such as barley, which were obtained from outside the U.S.A.

To resolve these issues, Migration Brewery turned to high-efficiency water heaters, switched to locally grown, organic barley, and cut their beer distribution out of the brewery altogether.

Little Foot Red beer
Little Foot Red / Image:

Without the need for long-distance transportation to import ingredients and distribute their beer, the company has created a unique approach to lowering their carbon footprint – a refreshing, green, sustainable beer.

Images from and Oregon Environmental Council