From Beer to Biogas: Creating Green Energy Using Brewer's Grain & Farm Waste

Biogas Video Image

Biogas Video Image

Dickinson's farm now creates more than enough biogas to power its operations and those of a neighboring farm

The Dickinson College Farm has partnered with Molly Pitcher Brewing Co. and other local farms to create large quantities of sustainable biogas from materials that would otherwise be discarded.

“In a nutshell, biogas is where we take organic waste materials and convert them into methane,” says Matt Steiman, the farm’s livestock operations manager, citing livestock manure, brewery waste and food waste as the fuels for the process.

In a typical week, Molly Pitcher uses more than 1,000 pounds of brewer's grain to produce beer at its Carlisle, Pennsylvania, brewery. Rather than allowing the spent grain to make its way to a landfill, Steiman collects it and brings it to Dickinson’s farm, where a digester transforms it into clean, burnable methane gas. It’s a huge win for the farm, as they can now create enough methane to power their own operations and those of a neighboring dairy farm—and have enough left over to sell back to a utility company. And it’s also a win for the environment.

“Now we’re not just brewing beer,” says Tim Fourlas, founder of the brewery and its head brewer, “but we’re also trying to help the environment and hopefully lessen the carbon impact that we have as a brewery.”



Published July 1, 2022