Case Study: Devil's Canyon Brewery

Crafting Beer and Helping The Planet

The motto of Devil’s Canyon Brewery in San Carlos is “Crafting Beer, Building Community.” And for this family-owned craft brewery, community is not just about people – it’s also about the environment.
Devil’s Canyon got its start in 2001 as a home-brewing project, but quickly developed into a private-label contract brewery and later a full-scale commercial brewing operation. Now the brewery operates full-time as both a production facility and event center. Over 8,000 visitors come to the brewery each month – either as a guest at a private event or to the brewery’s family-friendly “Beer Garden Friday” events that feature live music, food trucks, and craft beer and root beer.
Devil’s Canyon has always operated with sustainability in mind, but this year, the craft brewery took its eco-credentials to the next level, getting certified as a Green Business through the County of San Mateo’s Green Business Program.
Here are some of the ways Devil’s Canyon goes above and beyond to be green:

  • The brewery upgraded to more efficient fluorescent lighting in its production area and event center through the San Mateo County Energy Watch program, which offers a turnkey, direct-install lighting retrofit program for small businesses and nonprofits. The lighting replacement not only improved the quality of light – which is important to many of the beer-brewing processes – but it also reduced the brewery’s carbon footprint by the equivalent of the annual air pollution from over 1,500 cars.
  • Devil’s Canyon also installed ultra-efficient LED lights in the main bar, its front hallways and several restrooms to save even more energy and uses low-flow water faucets to conserve water.
  • It’s common for commercial breweries to use heat exchange systems. Rather than purchase a new system, Devil’s Canyon built its own using a tank that was originally headed for the landfill, as well as a tube and shell heat exchanger purchased at an estate sale. This “recycled” heat exchanger saves about 3,000 gallons of water a week and thousands of dollars a year on the brewery’s energy bills. It also cost 75 percent less than buying a brand-new system.
  • Devil’s Canyon asks its patrons to bring their own pint glass or purchase one from the brewery to reuse all evening at its Beer Garden Friday events – rather than use a new glass every time they purchase a drink.

"Sustainable business practices enable Devil's Canyon Brewing Company to create exceptional handcrafted products,” says brewery owner and co-founder Kristiann Dienstbier Garrett.  “Every decision in our business balances environment, economics and social equity."