Ypsilanti brewery using greener ways to make golden brews - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Ypsilanti brewery using greener ways to make golden brews

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Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti  (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)

Golden brews made with the power of the golden sun.  The Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti is one of Michigan's first solar breweries.  The owner of this facility and Arbor Brewing in Ann Arbor invested nearly $350,000 in energy saving equipment to make their brewing process more green.

"This was an old office building that had a lot of steel windows and single pane glass, and it wasn't a very comfortable place to be," "Brewguyver" Mike O'Brien explained.

The brewing expert said the first step was replacing those old, drafty windows, but that was just the beginning.  They then installed 144 solar panels on the roof to produce hot water and electricity.

Jared Diamond is the brewery's sustainability consultant.  The U of M grad student and beer connoisseur used the green makeover as his master's project for school.

"It seemed like an excellent candidate because there was a lot of room for improvement, and there was also a lot of willingness on the part of the owners," he said.

Diamond studied the microbrewing process from start to finish and identified areas where energy was being wasted.

An old chiller was one of the biggest energy wasters in the building.  In the summertime, it used to use up 50-percent of the electricity for the entire facility.  That's been replaced, and now there's a geothermal cooling system in the storage area known as the "Beer Cave".

All of the improvements are expected to save the brewery $20,000 a year and pay for themselves in seven years.

"Setting things up so that you're using less energy is better for the environment and better for the customers, better for everybody," O'Brien said.

"I feel that this is one small step in the right direction, and I'm proud to be part of that," said Diamond.

The project is in the final stages.  The official ribbon cutting is set for August 29.

For more information about The Corner Brewery, visit www.ArborBrewing.com/brewery.

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