Many years ago, a favorite Vermont inn was located at the intersection of Routes 4 and 100A at Bridgewater Corners. It was rustic, the food was delicious and the innkeepers knew how to do their thing.

I don’t know what it’s like these many years later. In a world that is so changed, I’m glad to see that it is still around

But just across the road lies a building of distinction that was not around back then.

It’s the Long Trail Brewery. Founded in 1989 by Andy Pherson in the basement of the Bridgewater Woolen Mill, the company relocated to its current state-of-the-art brewing facility and visitor center in 1995. Originally known as Mountain Brewers, the company changed its name to Long Trail Brewing Company shortly after their relocation to Bridgewater Corners, Vermont. In 2006, Long Trail was acquired by its present owner, Fulham and Co., a Massachusetts-based private equity firm. Located on the banks of the Ottaquechee River in the heart of the Green Mountains, the Long Trail campus includes its brewing operations, visitor center, farmhouse pilot brewery and wastewater treatment facility.

Long Trail makes a good beer.

Long Trail is also known for its unique ECO Brew process. ECO stands for Environmentally Conscious Operations.

Here are some of the environmentally conscious actions that Long Trail Brewing Company implements in their brewing process:

Using like-minded suppliers – The brewery partners with like-minded, environmentally friendly companies when possible. In the past, Vermont Coffee Company has supplied them with organic, fair trade coffee for seasonal Coffee Stout offering.

Spent mash – Local cattle farmers use the spent grain generated from the brewing process to feed their cows. The mash is inexpensive compared to the soybean or corn feed that’s available, and it’s better for the cows.

Heat recovery – The steam that is produced from the cooking process is recovered and turned back into water and used again in the brewing process.

Biodiesel – The grease from Long Trail’s visitor center pub is used as bio diesel for the company’s tractor, the truck that delivers their spent mash, and some of the employee’s commuter vehicles.

Water conservation – Long Trail is not hooked up to the local municipal water system. They have a hydrologic cycle that allows them to take water drawn from bedrock artesian wells, process most of it into great beer, and fully treat any wastewater that results before returning it to the ground via underground injection into on-site leach fields.

Water conservation has become an integral part of the brewery’s successful sustainable practice. They use 2.37 gallons of water to brew one gallon of beer. Six gallons of water for every one gallon of beer is the industry average. In addition, this process saves 1,100 gallons of propane per month and eliminates the release of smoky water vapor from the facility.

Cow Power The Central Vermont Public Service electric company harnesses methane from cow manure & use a digester machine to convert it to energy that can be purchased by businesses. 25% of Long Trail’s power is cow power, making it the largest corporation using cow power.

If you are interested in the beer, it is distributed throughout New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia and the District of Columbia, though 45% of its beer is consumed in Vermont.

If you are interested in learning more about its ECO brew process, here is the website or you can check it out for yourself at that spot at Bridgwater Corners at the intersection of Routes 4 and 100A.