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Decarbonating with Lion Brewery Co

The heritage craft brewery, which has roots in Singapore as well as London, is going carbon negative.

The world of drink is changing. Non-alcoholic spirits and beers, once dismissed as a novelty for the frivolous or feeble, has been embraced by the sober-curious. Oenophiles have expanded their palates in tandem with the growing market for vino that’s sometimes natural, sometimes biodynamic and always unconventional. Most of all, terroir-conscious no longer refers to a marked pickiness over where one’s bottles are sourced (though there’s nothing wrong with that), but how they’re created as well.

(Related: Bars in Singapore: where to drink natural wine)

Lion Brewery Co, a Singaporean craft beer specialist whose beermaking heritage stretches all the way back to 1836 in jolly old England, has hopped onto the carbon offsetting trend. That makes them the first local brewery to offset the carbon impact of their entire operation via reforestation.

Green Steps Lion Brewery

To that end, they’ve partnered up with Green Steps Group, a Swedish-based technology start-up whose other clients include the likes of 28 HongKong Street and Open Farm Community. Their raison d’etre is the governance and management of reforestation efforts using trackable technology. A geo-tagged tree will be planted for every keg of Lion Brewer Co beer sold, which in turn offsets more than enough carbon to cover production and delivery. That makes every pint of the stuff sold at local venue partners not just carbon-neutral, but carbon negative.

(Related: Non alcoholic spirits: Australia’s Lyre’s to enter the Singapore market)

Apart from buying beers, you’ve also got the option of adopting a tree together with Lion Brewery Co – as we’ve said, each tree planted is geo-tagged, which means you’ll be sent a certificate and a unique URL of your tree (naming is optional, if encouraged). Other details include the date and the time of your tree’s plating and info about the local farmer. The trees will be planted somewhere in the Borneo and Sumatran rainforests as a part of Green Steps Group’s rewilding efforts in Southeast Asia. Simply opt in during check-out (you’ll pay $4 while Lion Brewery Co foots the rest of the bill), or get a tree for a friend.

(Related: Sustainable boozing with carbon-negative alcohol)

Other green efforts the brewery has taken includes sourcing grains and hops from producers that have a similar philosophy, energy-saving practices like skipping the pasteurization stage of beer production (preserving some flavour and gut-healthy enzymes at the same time) and making the switch to paper or plant-based labels.

Says co-founder Will Julius, “We are excited to continue building upon our commitment to be greener through this initiative with Green Steps Group and have set ourselves the target to plant at least 200 trees per month in 2021.”

Their beers are available on draught at a variety of locations, including 1880, Straits Clan and many others. They’re also available online. 

Thought carbon offsetting isn’t necessarily the silver bullet for climate change and unsustainable practices, it’s a step in the right direction – one that Lion Brewery Co has already taken. And if we know anything about Singaporeans, other brands will be following suit. 

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