Full Sail

Full Sail Brewing Company Celebrates 20 Years

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Hood River, Ore. - Like the bottle caps on its award-winning ales and lagers say, the employee-owners at Full Sail Brewery are “stoked to brew.” Today, Full Sail Brewing Company is celebrating 20 years of brewing the finest Northwest-style ales and lagers in Hood River, Oreong.


Nestled between the mighty Columbia River and the snow-capped peak of Mt. Hood, it’s not hard for anyone to imagine what would attract the company to this setting. So the employees at Full Sail do their best to be stewards of their environment and are dedicated to operating the brewery in the most socially and environmentally sustaining manner possible, while producing world-class ales and lagers of the highest quality.


“I am proud of Full Sail’s achievements in 20 years. We’re tremendously proud of our excellent beers, and we’re very humbled and grateful for the wondrous environment that makes it all possible,” says Irene Firmat, co-founder and CEO of Full Sail Brewing Company.


Because employees are the owners at Full Sail – and because many call beautiful Hood River home – they are empowered to operate the brewhouse and offices in a sustainable manner every day. “As much as we are stoked to brew great beers, we also love our community,” says James Emmerson, Full Sail’s Executive Brewmaster. “The blue skies, green forests and rivers that surround us are what really inspire our sustainability efforts.”

Some of the company’s sustainability measures include:

• Efficient brewhouse: The brewery is as sustainable and efficient as possible, starting with the parts of the building that were reclaimed and recycled when the brewery first opened in the old Diamond Fruit cannery. The company utilizes energy measures such as energy-efficient lighting and air compressors, and compresses the work week into four very productive days, which helps reduce water and energy consumption by 20 percent. … more


• Sustainable brew process: Pure water literally flows from the peaks that surround the brewery, so Full Sail takes care to conserve this precious resource. While average breweries consume six to eight gallons of water for every gallon of beer produced, Full Sail has reduced its consumption to a less than 3 gallons, and operates its own on-site wastewater treatment facility. Local farms supply the other essential ingredients for award-winning brews: 85 percent of hops and 95 percent of barley come straight from Northwest farms.


• Reduce-Reuse-Recycle: Full Sail uses 100% recycled paperboard on all its packaging (and was one of the first in the industry to commit to long-term purchasing of recycled paper products). Everything from office paper to glass to stretch wrap to wooden pallets is recycled. Even dairy cows are beneficiaries of brewery waste: 4,160 tons of spent grain and 1,248 tons of spent yeast are sent back to farmers every year to use as feed for cows.


• Community-wide practices: Full Sail purchases 140 blocks of Pacific Power Blue Sky renewable energy per month. This practice results in the reduction of 168 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, the equivalent of planting 33,000 trees. Full Sail also supports over 300 events and charities each year, with a focus on those in the Hood River area. Employees at the company have inspired environmental change among other businesses in the Hood River area as well. Full Sail was a founding member of the Hood River Chamber of Commerce’s Green Smart program, an initiative that helps businesses and organizations within the Hood River watershed increase their productivity and profitability by improving resource efficiency and by reducing waste and pollution.


Environmental practices are gaining the company’s Portland Riverplace Brewery and offices positive recognition as well. Recently, the Portland Office of Sustainable Development awarded Full Sail recognition as a RecycleWorks business for its excellent track record of recycling, reducing waste and buying environmentally preferable products.

About Full Sail Brewing Company

Full Sail Brewing Company (www.fullsailbrewing.com) is an independent, employee-owned brewery operating for 20 years in Hood River, Oregon. Full Sail is committed to brewing great beer while adhering to socially and environmentally sustainable practices. Among the company’s most popular brews are Full Sail Amber, IPA and Pale Ale, and Session premium American lager. Full Sail is the only brewery to have ever been named to the "Best 100 Companies to Work for in Oregon" list by Oregon Business Magazine and maintained that distinction for five consecutive years. Full Sail is a member of the Sustainable Business Network of Portland, a founding sponsor for the Hood River Chamber of commerce’s “Green Smart” program, and supports over 300 events and charities each year, the majority of which are local.