LEAVENWORTH, Wash. -- A Washington microbrewery is trying to reduce its carbon footprint one vat at a time.
Pam Brulotte and her husband own Icicle Brewing Company in Leavenworth which is opening a new brewhouse to meet demand.
"This space can grow up to 25,000 barrels we don't really see ourselves getting that big. We just follow the growth that comes naturally," said Pam.
Another thing that comes naturally is carbon dioxide, a byproduct of the brewing process.
Small breweries in our state allow the CO2 to escape into the atmosphere which harms the environment.
Dean Priebe as brewmaster has a need for that wasted CO2.
"We purchase CO2 to push the beer around and carbonate up the beer, but we recently have acquired a piece of equipment to capture and reuse it," said Dean.
Icicle spent $75,000 to be the first small-scale Washington craft brewery to install technology that will capture and reuse that carbon dioxide.
"This is a tech that has been in existence for larger breweries, but it's never been available to breweries of our size," said Pam.
Earthly Labs claims this machine can do the work of 1,500 trees. It's a win-win, scrubbing the atmosphere of CO2 and allowing brewers to save money.
"I can see us hopefully seeing a return on investment in one to two years because we are already seeing the benefits of using our naturally occurring CO2," said Pam.
"Efficiency can be good in turns of making money, but efficiency is also really good for the environment," said Dean.
Icicle Brewing says it will donate 1% of distribution sales to support nonprofit organizations.