Green Brewery Project (2011)

Client Organization: 
Arbor Brewing Company
Project Location : 
Ypsilanti, MI
Summary of Project Idea: 

The goal of the Green Brewery Project was to help align aspects of sustainability in the business practices of the Corner Brewery with the owners' environmental values. Project members accomplished this by first conducting a comprehensive energy audit of the Corner Brewery operations. Secondly, while working within the financial, technical and legal constraints of the Corner Brewery operations, they developed a prioritized list of recommendations for improvements to energy efficiency and for onsite renewable energy generation. Next, they prepared workshops for the brewery owners, staff and community members to present findings that would bring about enduring improvements to sustainability. Lastly, project members travelled to San Francisco to present their findings at the national Craft Brewers Conference in the hopes of raising awareness of cost-saving and ecologically responsible practices in the industry.  

For More Information, contact: jarettd (at)

Skills/Expertise Needed: 
  • Knowledge/interest in renewable energy systems
  • Knowledge/interest in energy efficient manufacturing practices
  • Knowledge/interest in energy efficient building retrofit practices
  • Knowledge/interest in marketing and corporate image craftsmanship

In addition, knowledge of mechanical, industrial, manufacturing, and civil engineering programs would be desirable.

SEAS Program Areas: 
Sustainable Systems
Professional Career Development Benefits: 

At the completion of this project, students will know how to: evaluate a business for its current energy uses, identify possible energy improvements, research and evaluate each of these capital improvements for total life cycle costs, and prioritize these in a cost-benefit analysis for that business.

The students will also understand the political and community issues that need to be addressed in any business improvement, and how to engage both the community and the customers to ensure they agree, support, and help with achieving the energy savings plan.

Ultimately the process of developing this integrated energy systems and business plan may be used to achieve similar goals with other energy intensive businesses both within and beyond the craft brewing sector.

Funding Sources: 

Funding will be sought from the many government and private institutions which provide grants for sustainable energy projects such as this.

Identify expected products/deliverables: 

1. An analysis of options for energy-efficient process improvements and sustainable on-site energy generation for a craft brewery in Ypsilanti, MI.

2. A business plan to engage, energize, and educate the customer base and the community.

Ann Arbor
State or Country: 
SEAS Faculty Advisor: 
Scott Noesen
Master Students Involved in Project: 
  • Jazmine Bennett, MS Sustainable Systems                                                                                          
  • Jarett Diamond, MSE/MS Sustainable Systems                  
  • Gary Fischer, MS Sustainable Systems                                                                                   
  • Kerby Smithson, MS Sustainable Systems
Project Status: 
Past Project