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4 Pines and Ben & Jerry’s Team Up for New Craft Beer

 

In May 2021, 4 Pines Brewing joined forces with Ben & Jerry’s to bless the world with a new, limited release craft beer. The solar-powered and ice-cream inspired ‘Nitro Beer’ is bound to get some tastebuds tingling; it’s inspired by Ben and Jerry’s popular chocolate chip cookie dough flavour. However, this partnership was about more than just beer. The collaboration is also helping to support solar installations for Aussie community groups, thanks to Enova Community. So, let’s take a look at how solar power, ice-cream, beer and community all came together…

Image Source: 4 Pines Brewing Co.
Image Source: 4 Pines Brewing Co.

4 Pines Brewing

4 Pines is an award-winning Aussie brewery; the magical result of a post-surf chat between a dad and his son in Manly, New South Wales. Having poured its first pint back in 2008, 4 Pines is now nearing its 5,000th brew and has expanded to 17 venues around Australia. Being one of only three certified B Corporation brewers in Australia, 4 Pines is committed to making a positive impact on the environment. We were lucky enough to have a chat with the brewery’s Sustainability and Social Impact Advisor, Ttobie, who says the business prides itself on fun, challenging the norm and community.

We are on a journey with family, friends and the community to restore the fun in people’s lives and forever challenge what the world imagines business should be. As our community is so integral to our purpose and because beer is an agricultural product, we know it is important for us to take responsibility for our impact; not just as part of our business but also as an integral part of our decision-making.

Ttobie Arowobusoye, Sustainability and Social Impact Advisor at 4 Pines.

4 Pines’ brewery and headquarters in Brookvale, NSW are both powered by solar. There’s an 80kW system on one roof that powers the head office and packaging line. An additional 20kW system is on another roof and is used to help power the brewery and brewing office.

These sites are the only ones with solar as the brewery has operational control over them and can easily access the roof spaces. However, the venues where 4 Pines has not been able to install solar are still powered by renewables. A power purchase agreement (or PPA) has allowed the company to purchase energy generated by solar and wind systems.

Image Source: 4 Pines Brewing Co.

Ben & Jerry’s

Many of us will have had a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s at some point (and if you haven’t… you’re missing out!), but the company is also on an extremely important mission. Founded by two mates, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield in 1978, the company aims to make the best possible ice cream in the nicest possible way. With a passion for ice cream, social change and reducing its carbon footprint, Ben & Jerry’s is another certified B Corporation. Additionally, the company has committed to being completely powered by renewables by 2025; being well on its way to meeting this target. If you’re keen to know more about Ben & Jerry’s and its mission, click here.

So… What Are B Corporations?

You’ve read a little bit about B Corporations in the last minute or so, but what are they? Certified B Corps are businesses that have met and continue to meet the highest of standards when it comes to:

  • Social and environmental performance;
  • Public transparency; and
  • Legal accountability.

The overarching theme of these standards is to balance purpose and profit. The certification itself is unique, being the world’s only certification that accounts for a company’s complete social and environmental performance.

There are a bunch of certified B Corps around the world, but let’s look a little closer to home. There are a heap of certified B Corps around Australia, including T2, Koala, BioPak, Beyond Bank and Bellroy. Check out the B Corp Directory to find more Aussie businesses doing the same… or defy borders and check out some certified companies from around the world.

Enova Community

With both 4 Pines and Ben & Jerry’s on missions that intersect, it was a no-brainer that they both collaborate on such a project with Enova Community. Enova Community is a not-for-profit extension of Enova Energy (which is the country’s first community-owned energy retailer). Having launched in Byron Bay in 2016, the retailer has grown to help power homes and businesses across New South Wales and South-East Queensland. Additionally, 50% of Enova’s profits (after tax and reinvestment) go towards community renewable energy projects, energy efficiency and education; forming the core of its mission to prioritise communities, customers and the wellbeing of the planet.

What Makes This The Perfect Match?

Thanks to Enova Community, the partnership between 4 Pines and Ben & Jerry’s will help an Australian community group make the switch to solar. The companies will take expressions of interest from community groups, before using a panel (no pun intended) to help choose where the funding goes for this project; known as the Solar to the People Grant.

There are several things that we are looking for; you don’t already have solar panels on your community building, and you are important to your community, are the most important criteria really.

Ttobie Arowobusoye, Sustainability and Social Impact Advisor at 4 Pines.

Once the community group has been chosen and approved, the savings it gets from the solar installation will be used to repay the cost of the panels. Furthermore, the repayment will then go towards even more solar community projects later down the track.

Where Can I Get Some of This Beer?

Good question… now, let’s help you find some! You’ll be able to score a singular can, a four-pack or a slab of 24 through Dan Murphy’s. However, you’ll also find the same offering through online sites like BoozeBud and Booze It. Have you already tried this beautiful solar-powered, ice-cream inspired creation? Give us your review by getting in touch on social media! If you feel inspired to make the switch to solar, for either your home or business (or both!), click here.

Image Source: 4 Pines Brewing Co.

 

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Understanding Batteries

Off-Grid Systems

For some households a battery system can be of great benefit and minimise a home’s reliance on the grid. However, it’s important to understand for a battery to be useful your solar system needs to be generating excess energy for the battery to store, which you can then use at night or when the sun is not out.

When selecting a battery, you’ll want to invest in a system that is most suited to your home and can drive the best return on investment (ROI). Despite a larger upfront cost, a higher quality battery may significantly increase your ROI.

    Battery systems start from $6,000 and costs can vary greatly based on the following factors:

  1. Cycle Life-Time

    The number of times a battery can fully charge and discharge.

  2. Battery Power (kW)

    How fast it can be charged or discharged.

  3. Storage Capacity (kWh)

    The maximum amount of energy a battery system can store.

  4. Battery Management System (BMS)

    An electronic ‘smart’ system that gathers data and manages the battery ensuring it does not overload or operate outside of its safe functioning zone..

  5. Inverter

    Battery systems require their own inverter if your solar system does not have a hybrid inverter.

  6. 'All-In-One Unit’

    A system which includes the battery, BMS and an inverter all in one unit.

  7. Warranty

    Length of time or cycles the battery system is under guarantee.

  8. Blackout Protection/Backup

    It’s important to note this is not a common feature of a battery system and could cost thousands of dollars to include. Blackout protection not only requires additional components but also a specialised installation and rewiring. For grid-connected homes, the cost for blackout protection can outweigh the benefit.

Additionally, if your purpose for adding battery is to go Off-Grid and become completely independent from the grid you will need to ensure your solar system can generate enough energy to power your home and your battery system is large enough to store this energy. For homes in metro areas going Off-grid is not cost effective and is only recommended for those in remote areas with limited access to the grid. Off-grid solar systems with battery start at approximately $30,000.
 

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