For several years now, Bayern has been buying back our 6-pack holders and/or giving recyclers trade-in value for beer or merchandise in the Tasting Room. In Spring 2010 Bayern took this a step further and began recycling its own glass, making it the first brewery in Montana, and one of the few in the nation, that recycles (or reuses) its entire packaging material. Now, participants can use a Bayern Ecopack to recycle their glass and get a refund for bottles returned to the brewery (see Ecopack page for details). The aim is to keep as much of the brewery's packaging out of the landfill as possible, but reusing our bottles and 6-pack carriers (as much as possible) just makes good business sense too.
Good beer starts with good water. In Missoula, Montana, we are very fortunate to have some of the best-quality water in the entire nation just below our feet. The Missoula Aquifer is fed by 4 major waterways and other runoff from the beautiful mountains that surround the Missoula Valley. To contribute towards preservation of this resource, and to celebrate the angling/river sport culture of our area, Bayern teamed up with Montana Trout Unlimited, naming Dancing Trout as the official beer of this non-profit organization. A percentage of all Dancing Trout merchandise and beer sales goes directly toward Montana Trout Unlimited and their efforts to conserve and restore Montana’s coldwater fisheries, riparian areas and watersheds.
Bayern is always striving to transport our beer efficiently and buy the quality materials we use to make and package our beer from nearby sources to reduce the company's carbon footprint (unfortunately, German hops MUST come from Germany). Also, in order to promote alternative means of transportation, Bayern has recently joined Bicycle Benefits, a program providing discounts to participants who bike to the brewery with one of the program stickers on thier helmets. To learn more about the program and how you can join, please visit thier website: www.bicyclebenefits.org
Another key ingredient in beer is malted barley (and occasionally wheat). After these malted grains have been used to create beer, although much of the starches have been removed, most of the protein (and fiber) is still present. That is why breweries have been offering their "spent grains" for use as feed for livestock for as long as commercial brewing has existed. The spent grain at Bayern Brewing goes to a family-owned ranch in the Frenchtown area, where the cows come running when they see the truck full of this tasty meal!