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Penticton’s only carbon-neutral brewery celebrates Earth Day in a big way

Tin Whistle Brewing Co. is trapping its beer off-gassing and converting it to oxygen
Tin Whistle Brewing owners Alexis Esseltine and Tim Scoon celebrate spring by opening their patio at the historic Cannery. (Monique Tamminga Western News)

Penticton’s only carbon-neutral brewery is celebrating Earth Day by finding even more ways to lessen their impact on the planet.

Tin Whistle Brewery just opened their patio for the season and released some new spring beers on Thursday while also proudly working with Okanagan College to turn the off-gassing emissions from fermentation into oxygen.

“Just like a tree uses photosynthesis to turn carbon dioxide to oxygen, we are, with help from Okanagan College turning our off-gassing into oxygen through an LG (liquid gas) project,” said Tin Whistle Brewing co-owner Alexis Esseltine.

As beer ferments, it releases carbon dioxide, which is one of the gases that contributes to climate change.

Through a partnership with Okanagan College’s BC Beverage Technology Access Centre, they are using LG technology that captures the off-gassing and absorbs carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen in exchange, just like a tree does, she added.

The BC Beverage Technology Access Centre is a federally funded research centre at OC’s Penticton campus. Their mission is to support the beverage sector around research.

“It’s an incredible asset for us that is just down the street. We are also working with them on measuring our water footprint,” she said.

Tin Whistle’s new spring beers. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Tin Whistle’s new spring beers. (Monique Tamminga Western News)

To celebrate Earth Day in 2021, Esseltine and Tim Scoon announced their new ownership of Tin Whistle by becoming the first B.C. brewery to be certified carbon neutral.

“This is us doing our part to address climate change and reduce global warming,” said Esseltine.

Esseltine is no stranger to the importance of environmentally friendly practices and it is there where her passion lies, that and making good craft beer.

The former sustainability manager at the Vancouver Aquarium has been recognized as a Clean 50 Emerging Leader for outstanding contributions to sustainable development and clean capitalism in Canada.

“We know beer, like all products, has an impact on the natural world whether it’s through the grains grown and transported to our facilities or the energy, water and waste from production,” she said. “We knew we could make great beer, and we also knew we could lessen our impact.”

READ MORE: Penticton’s original brewery goes eco-friendly under new ownership

Being able to turn their bad emissions into clean oxygen is a game changer and one she’s hoping other Penticton breweries will jump on board with too, said Esseltine.

Tin Whistle is also looking at what hops have the best carbon footprint.

“Lots of advancement is coming in beer. Our objective is to show what can be done without compromising the quality of the beer being made. Let’s make incredible beer but be thoughtful about it.

“The beer community is so good about coming together in so many areas.”

New this year to the Tin Whistle patio at the historic Cannery Trade Centre is WoodWood Pizzeria food truck that offers Napoli-style pizza cooked in a wood-fired oven.

Tin Whistle’s Spring Beers:

Their signature Peach Cream Ale, which uses local peaches

Queen of Tart Prickly Pear Cactus Sour, which uses the cactus which is native to the Okanagan

Good Things which is a mix of IPA and lager

Cucumber Lemon Saison, which uses ugly lemons and B.C. greenhouse cukes

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Wood Wood Pizzeria food truck has joined the patio at Tin Whistle. (Monique Tamminga)

Monique Tamminga

About the Author: Monique Tamminga

Monique brings 20 years of award-winning journalism experience to the role of editor at the Penticton Western News. Of those years, 17 were spent working as a senior reporter and acting editor with the Langley Advance Times.
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