SWBA came about after a suggestion to collaborate on these challenges was made by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development. This was all the encouragement needed for Keith Warrick, General Manager at Eagle Bay Brewing, and Iliya Hastings, Director of Margaret River Brewhouse. The pair took the lead and formed the Alliance. Joining them are nine other brewers in the South West eager to work together for the greater good of the planet. Warrick says that sustainability is at the essence of each of the individual businesses; “it plays a pivotal role in how our businesses are run, so naturally, it is a core value of the Alliance.”
Anyone that has worked with the brewing industry (though perhaps more widely it is a hospitality and services trade trait) knows how supportive your industry peers are when you’re in a pickle. And this is how Warrick and the SWBA members are approaching the climate crisis, as a community. “We are very aware of the footprint made by the brewing industry and are doing everything we can to reduce it. Us brewers are in it together. It’s a no-brainer for us to join forces so we can overcome these problems.”
The switch to renewable energy is widespread in the brewing industry. Some breweries, like Rocky Ridge, are completely powered by solar. On a visit to Beerfarm or Black Brewing Co, you will see the rooftops covered in solar panels. And a number of the breweries are implementing wastewater plans to reduce water consumption during the brewing process.
But the SWBA have even more ambitious goals. Members of the groups are innovative and forward thinking. They enjoy the challenge of finding solutions that will reduce the impact of the brewing industry. As Warrick attests, “We are surrounded by beautiful nature and so taking care of the environment is top of mind for us in the South West. It is in our DNA.”