Tag Archives: Marquette Michigan

The End of the 3,000 Mile Beer?


This is a re-post from 2012. At the time focus was on sustainability. The Great Lakes were at there lowest levels in years and that summer we may have had our first shock of climate change. Here is a great guest post talking about one of my favorite topics.


With energy resources becoming the global concern that it is, will beer disappear? First I will answer that with a NO. However, it will be more likely that the beer I drink may be a home brew as opposed to a Molson, Coors, or PBR.

I give you this scenario for globalized worlds need to become local. The reason I pose the need for localization aligning with the effect on beer, because what would the world be without beer.

The way things typically work in the mass production of beer vary but putting things generically will give perspective. Central brewing locations import ingredients. These ingredients are grown typically in a monoculture setting using pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers; all of which are distributed with petrol driven machines. Shipping these ingredients trucks, or in some cases planes, are used both using petrol as fuel. Once in the brewing location, energy is used to brew and package the beer; likely this will be from coal or natural gas power. After the final product is created it is shipped by the same means ingredients are imported.  Once in the store it is purchased by the consumer. This excludes the employees who drive vehicles to get to work along the entire scenario.

This look is meant to give an idea about how much oil goes into a bottle or can of beer. The entire world supply of oil can fit into green bay, and half is gone. With the diminishing supplies prices will rise and the price of draft may increase forever.

Being local cuts back hugely on the amount of petroleum used and stimulate local economy. I say start a home-brew revolution, support your local brewers. Nothing brings a community together like enjoying a cold mug of brew with friends, made in your own neighborhood.


Image


My local brewery in Marquette, Michigan

Blackrocks – http://www.blackrocksbrewery.com/index.html

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Great Lakes Ice Coverage Now a Concern


This winter the Great Lakes experienced near record ice coverage. In March 2014 NOAA reported 92.2% of the Great Lakes were frozen. A record only Historic Ice Coverage 2014surpassed in 1979 with over 94% total ice coverage. This deep freeze over the Great lakes was viewed warmly as ice tends to prevent evaporation of the lakes and provide recovery for lake levels during the spring thaw. The coverage also ment that most of Michigan experienced a very sunny, albeit cold winter. All of the Great Lakes experienced record low water levels in early 2014. Matching levels 50 years ago in 1964.

Effects of Cold Winter Linger

This week Environment Canada posted a report showing lake ice still at an amazing 37% coverage. The coverage is primarily occurring on Lake Superior. Below normal temperatures and ongoing Ice Coverage Huronsnow fall is still occurring regularly the UP of Michigan. It’s estimated that most of the Great lakes will not be totally ice-free until mid May.

Local Impact

The ice has impacted harbor towns across the Great Lakes. Marquette Michigan’s newspaper Mining Journal reported that Marquette harbor is open – roughly two weeks later than normal. Ice breakers provided by the U.S. Coast Guard had to escort two Source: Mining Journalfreighters into the harbor this week. One freighter, The Barker delivered coal to the Presque Isle power plant. The delay in the shipping season forced We Energies to acquire reserve coal stock from  Marquette Board of Light and Power.

In Michigan’s Thumb, the long winter season has delayed work at Port Austin harbor.

 

The End of the 3,000 Mile Beer?


With energy resources becoming the global concern that it is, will beer disappear? First I will answer that with a NO. However, it will be more likely that the beer I drink may be a home brew as opposed to a Molson, Coors, or PBR.

I give you this scenario for globalized worlds need to become local. The reason I pose the need for localization aligning with the effect on beer, because what would the world be without beer.

The way things typically work in the mass production of beer vary but putting things generically will give perspective. Central brewing locations import ingredients. These ingredients are grown typically in a monoculture setting using pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers; all of which are distributed with petrol driven machines. Shipping these ingredients trucks, or in some cases planes, are used both using petrol as fuel. Once in the brewing location, energy is used to brew and package the beer; likely this will be from coal or natural gas power. After the final product is created it is shipped by the same means ingredients are imported.  Once in the store it is purchased by the consumer. This excludes the employees who drive vehicles to get to work along the entire scenario.

This look is meant to give an idea about how much oil goes into a bottle or can of beer. The entire world supply of oil can fit into green bay, and half is gone. With the diminishing supplies prices will rise and the price of draft may increase forever.

Being local cuts back hugely on the amount of petroleum used and stimulate local economy. I say start a home-brew revolution, support your local brewers. Nothing brings a community together like enjoying a cold mug of brew with friends, made in your own neighborhood.

Image

My local brewery in Marquette, Michigan

Blackrocks – http://www.blackrocksbrewery.com/index.html