Red Lodge Ales

Red Lodge, Montana

Solar Thermal

$26,390 Grant


Red Lodge Ale - solar thermalSam Hoffman started brewing beer in 1998, taking advantage of locally grown barley, hops and the clean mountain waters that flow through the small town of Red Lodge just north of Yellowstone National Park. Today, Red Lodge Ales may now be one of the “greenest” breweries in the country.

When Sam needed to expand his operation, he wanted to incorporate more green energy into his new facility and adopted several innovative approaches in solar energy with the help of a $26,390 REAP grant.

The new Red Lodge Ale facility sports an array of solar hot water panels that will provide space heat through floor heating in the winter, while providing hot water in the summer. Hoffman also constructed a biodiesel production unit, using waste grease collected from his customers. Delivery trucks now drop off beer and pick up grease, which is then used to fuel the Red Lodge delivery fleet.

Other innovations adopted by Hoffman include a “Freeaire” refrigerator system for his large coolers that exchanges chilly Montana air from outside during the winter months, drastically cutting his electric load and extending equipment life.

He’s also added wood stoves for sustainable heat and ambience in public areas.

Unfortunately, the Red Lodge Ales are only available in Montana, Wyoming and the greater Yellowstone region. But maybe, with Hoffman’s ingenuity and drive, we’ll be able to enjoy this “green” beer around the country very soon.