Our Mother

A name like Mother Earth Brewing demands that a ribbon of green run through every aspect of our company. Owners Stephen Hill and Trent Mooring say it was easy to build a first-rate brewery while staying true to their name. Trent explains, “Being green can be easy, and making simple, educated product decisions during our design phase was critical to our overall objective of a low-impact brewery.” In 2013, the United States Green Building Council took notice, and after a nine month observation period, they awarded Mother Earth Brewing a Gold certification in the LEED® program. Mother Earth Brewing is proud to be the first production brewery in the country to achieve the Gold rating, the highest rating ever attained by a brewery and the second highest rating possible. Trent adds that “research and education will continue to be key elements” in deciding what green technologies to implement in the future. Here’s an overview of what the brewery has been doing to make our mother happy.

It all began with selecting the building that would house the brewery.  After much investigation, we found just what we were looking for right here in Kinston, NC:  a beautiful (yet needy) old building, located in a downtown area that’s excited about revitalization. Rather than construct a new building, we envisioned renewing the old, uncared-for brick structure with the spirit of Mother Earth herself. We dove into a thorough study of environmentally friendly construction material. Less than a year later, we reached their goal. Various building materials color the brewery green from top to bottom. We were even able to reuse 95% of the original brick, wood and steel from the structure in the construction process.

A six-kilowatt solar array stands on the roof as a tribute to the authority of that great star we orbit, the sun. This enables our Tap Room & Beer Garden to be 100% solar powered, 24/7/365. Blue jean insulation, a 100% recyclable product, was used to insulate the walls. In addition to being a recyclable product, it also has outstanding sound barrier qualities. Soy-based spray foam insulation protects the second story ceiling. Low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) paint covers the walls. The flooring wasn’t ignored, either: Mother Earth Brewing’s corporate offices sport eco carpet partially made from renewable resources. A state-of-the-art tankless water heater heats water on demand, instead of using needless energy to keep hundreds of gallons of water heated at all times. Eco faucets in our bathrooms offer an incredible savings in water compared to conventional faucets. Eco flush valves on toilets know just the right amount of water needed for the job, and reduce water needed for flushing by 30%. We installed a 2,500-gallon cistern in our beer garden to catch rainwater, which we use to water our outside gardens and pump gray water into our toilets, rather than using fresh water.

We’ve just covered the building…there’s more.

Mother Earth Brewing employs green brewing procedures as well. One example grabbed the interest of our farming neighbors: rather than send spent grain used in the brewing process off to the landfill, it is given to local farmers as top-quality feed for their animals, a win-win for all involved. We recycled the bags that the grain is packaged in by donating them to the North Carolina Forest Service to be used in their Tree Seedlings & Nursery Program, helping to reseed our forests. Our celebrated “hop project” resulted in 25 hop rhizomes penetrating the soil right here in Kinston. Mother Earth evidently gave her nod of approval, as the growing seasons have offered unfathomable growth, far exceeding expectations. 

Today, we’re able to use our own, locally grown hops in some of our pilot batches and as dry-hops for specialty beers that make their way into our Tap Room.

Mother Earth Brewing’s specialty tap handles, visible wherever our beers are being poured on tap, are made from bamboo. We’re also proud that over 80% of our staff walks, bikes or skateboards to work, cutting down on greenhouse gas emissions.

While we’re thrilled with our progress so far, the quest to please Mother Earth is never-ending. We’re always looking for new and better ways to minimize our impact on the environment, and we will continue to consider our impact on the earth in everything that we do.