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March 1, 2016

Allagash Brewing Company in Portland, ME, is saving approximately $13,000 a year


with the help of smarter controls for coolers, high-efficiency motors, and door heaters.
Its not surprising that a brewery named for a river located in the untrammeled wilds of
northern Maine would take its responsibilities to nature seriously. Allagash Brewing
Company, located in Portland, ME, ranks being an engaged member of the community
and a responsible steward of the environment right up there with hand crafting the best
Belgian-inspired beers in the world.
Among the steps the brewery has taken to reduce its carbon footprint is the purchase of
renewable energy credits that offset more than 90% of the electricity used (and
emissions produced) by brewery operations.
Allagash also generates nearly 60 tons of spent grain each week, which it then gives to a
local farmer who is able to use it as cattle feed since the grain still contains lots of
nutritious protein, fiber, and carbohydrates even after the sugar is extracted from the
grain during the brewing process. Instead of pouring yeast down the drain, this
byproduct of making beer is also given to farmers who use it as fertilizer.

Finding alternative uses for nearly every by-product of the brewing process is the job of
the companys Green Team, which is comprised of staff members from all areas of the
company who work together to implement sustainable practices that limit the amount of
waste material that would normally be thrown in the trash, explains Allagash founder
Rod Tod, who used to travel his companys namesake river when he was a boy.
Cutting the amount of energy used to refrigerate its product was therefore a natural next
step for a company like Allagash, which received an Environmental Excellence Award
from Maines governor and Department of Environmental Protection for its green
approach to waste reduction and diversion strategies
In business since 1995 when its first batch of Allagash White was sold to the public,
Allagash still uses its original brew house to create its traditional and new favorites.
Freeaire of Canton, MA, was able to provide Allagash with a comprehensive proposal to
retrofit the companys five existing coolers with smart technology to regulate energy
consumption and to make use of the cold free air outside. If fully implemented, the
retrofit might have saved Allagash as much as $25,000 a year in electricity costs
enough to repay the energy-saving investment in less than two-and-a-half years.
The projected 225,000 kw/h savings the company would have experienced translates
into about 343,000 pounds of CO 2 saved, according to the U.S. EPA, as well as 362
barrels of oil not consumed and 370,000 miles of roads not driven. That is a substantial
savings for a company that distributes its products in a 17-state market that includes
Boston, New York, Washington, Chicago, and even extends as far west as Los Angeles.
Allagash ultimately decided to utilize Freeaires energy-saving system in its large
shipping warehouse with its sizable refrigeration needs to save an estimated $13,000 a
year in energy costs.
Freeaire system achieves maximum energy savings from new or existing commercial
refrigeration systems in any climate, at any time of the year in five ways First,
Freeaires All Climate Controller constantly monitors temperature and automatically
shuts down energy-hungry evaporator fans whenever possible, reducing the energy used
by about 50% while also extending the life of the evaporator fans themselves.

The controllers also ensure that door heaters are only used when the humidity is high,
and turn off lights and stand-alone glass merchandise cases when the store is closed. As
an added bonus, turning off lights and motors reduces the amount of heat generated by
the system itself, lowering the need for refrigeration and reducing compressor runtimes.
Freeaire electricians also replaced the existing evaporator fans motors with highefficiency Electronically Commutated Motors (ECMs), which use up to 66% less
energy.
Finally, Freeaires Polar Power package helps to bring in fresh, filtered outside air into a
cooler whenever conditions allow it. For Allagash, on average, Polar Power should cool
its beer for over 200 days per year.
Savings for Allagash began even before installation was complete since most energy
companies offer substantial incentives for energy-saving systems like Freeaire.
Allagash, for example, was only out-of-pocket for about half the $52,000 installation
costs. And with energy savings running about $13,000 annually, even those costs were
recouped in just two years.
Allagash calculates the company would have to sell about 14,000 cases of its Belgianinspired beer to make up for the savings it gained by investing in the systems.