14th Star Brewery toasts to $230,000 in savings
What was once a St. Albans bowling alley is now a state-of-the-art brewery and home to 14th Star Brewing Co. The brewery, founded by U.S. Army veteran Steven Gagner, has grown from making 200 barrels in 2013 to more than 5,000 barrels in 2016.
The brewery, which Gagner runs with his sister, CEO Andrea Gagner, is among 23 Vermont breweries that have worked with Efficiency Vermont to reduce energy and save money.
U.S. breweries spend over $200 million in energy costs every year. Breweries like 14th Star are often looking for ways to decrease production costs without sacrificing quality. The brewing process is generally energy-intensive and requires significant amounts of water, compressed air, lighting, and refrigeration. According to the Brewers Association, refrigeration, packing, and compressed air consume 70 percent of U.S. breweries’ electricity use.
Taking advantage of increased incentives and technical support through Efficiency Vermont’s Business Forward campaign, 14th Star was able to make substantial investments in energy efficiency with:
- High efficiency LED lighting
- HVAC systems
- Electric motors used in the brewing process
- Compressed air improvements
“We’re proud of the investment we are making in St. Albans, and pleased with the energy savings we’ve been able to achieve. [Efficiency Vermont’s] advice is free, and they have incentives available to help bring down the upfront cost of investing in efficient technologies. ”
The investment will save 14th Star more than $233,900 in electricity costs during the next 15 years, with more energy efficient investments planned for the future. By combining 14th Star’s expertise in brewing with Efficiency Vermont’s commitment to energy efficiency, the Gagners can raise a glass to optimizing their operations and driving down energy costs.