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Red Lodge Ales

When Sam Hoffmann, owner of Red Lodge Ales, realized he needed to expand his operation, he began construction of a new, larger facility that would meet the needs of his growing businesses and allow for future expansion. He also incorporated plenty of green features.

For example, the building incorporates a natural cooling feature. A Freeaire refrigeration system takes advantage of cold outdoor air through a computer-controlled an air exchange system. When it's cold enough outside, a sensor will shut down the compressor, thereby reducing energy use. "They predict that 160 days of the year, we won't have to run any conventional refrigeration," Hoffman said.

The new brewery also will take advantage of the sun's energy with solar thermal array installed on the brewery's roof. The solar system will heat water, which can be used for several purposes, such as mashing grain in the brewing process and to heat the building. According to the company's website, the solar array will be largest such system in Montana. Hoffman says the new brewery also has a room to make biodiesel. Hoffman dabbles in making biodiesel for delivery truck and his own 1981 Peugeot, using waste vegetable oil.

See the Red Lodge Ales website at

Photo credit: Red Lodge Ales

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