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BlackStack Brewing is a family owned and operated production brewery and 300 person taproom in the Midway neighborhood in Saint Paul.

Challenge

Black Stack Brewing is a craft beer maker and taproom located in St. Paul’s Midway neighborhood. Prior to opening in 2017, Black Stack owner Scott Johnson knew he wanted the brewery to be an environmentally conscious business and member of the community.

After consulting with our recycling experts, Scott applied for a grant through the BizRecycling program to help him get started in single stream recycling, organics recycling and invested in reusables.

How We Helped

BizRecycling grant made it possible to add color-coded single stream recycling and organics recycling bins for both front and back of house areas and the installation of a high-temp dishwasher for cleaning glassware and growlers which has made the single biggest difference for the business. 

The grant funding was also used to purchase additional water glasses, especially useful for when BlackStack is hosting events or trivia nights and needs extra supplies. Without the extra reusable glasses, Scott estimates that the brewery would have gone through 100 – 150 plastic disposable cups each day. This equates to an estimated 875 pounds that would have been going into the trash on an annual basis.

Outcome

BlackStack’s single stream recycling has increased so much that recycling is now picked up twice weekly versus once weekly when the program began, an increase of over 27,000 pounds of recyclables per year. With the majority of compostable waste in the facility being generated in the form spent grain, BlackStack collects the grain inside and uses a forklift to bring it out to a large outdoor dumpster. Scott then works with a local farmer who picks up the grain and transports it to a farm just outside the Twin Cities metro where it becomes compost and feed.

Given the volume of the spent grain, this represents up to $500 per month in avoided trash costs for the brewery. John said “The program helped us immensely. The recycling experts were helpful in both the application for the grant and implementation of our waste savings program. We saved significant money, while cutting waste.” – Scott Johnson, BlackStack Brewing owner.

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