The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

New Kiwi brew serves up sustainable progress

Garage Project has announced the release of Treehugger – their latest 4% ABV Pilsner which is an experiment in making a singular beer in the most sustainable way possible.

Every ingredient in Treehugger is local, sustainably grown, and transported in the greenest way possible and comes in more planet-friendly packaging.

Garage Project has also committed to giving $1 from every six-pack sold to Trees for Canterbury. This means that for every case sold (four six-packs), a tree is planted.

The team says it intends to apply learnings from Treehugger to their process, and have invested in new technology across the business.

Investments include valves to keep carbon dioxide in the tanks, a carbon dioxide recovery unit and a new warehouse cold room that uses 25% less electricity day to day, and reduces the climate change impact of any refrigeration leakage into the atmosphere by 1,200 times compared to the industry standard.

Head Brewer and Co-Founder Pete Gillespie says making Treehugger was a ‘unifying experience’ for the team and suppliers,

“We’re on a sustainability journey at Garage Project,” he says. “We are not perfect, but every day we’re looking for ways to reduce waste, lessen our carbon footprint and minimise our overall impact on the earth. Creating Treehugger was a chance to go further.

“Every part of our business came together around the table to make the most sustainable product we possibly could. We threw everything at the wall. No big, or small chance to do better was left behind.”

Treehugger is made with the help of New Zealand suppliers using regenerative practices, and 100% New Zealand ingredients, including 100% low-footprint hops.

It is also brewed at a higher ABV to reduce energy, and the team at the brewery changed processes to reduce Co2 use, such as locking in natural Co2 for carbonation, and purging cans with nitrogen rather than Co2.

There’s less ink on the cardboard packaging, it’s plant- and water-based, and they are using the leftovers.

The outer is made with 84% recycled cardboard and redesigned to avoid the need for stickers usually used in the dispatch process.

And Treehugger comes in a six pack wrap versus a box, which uses less cardboard.

The end result is the brewery’s most sustainable beer yet.

A clean, crisp 4% ABV pilsner with a refreshing tropical fruit and lime aroma, slight Sauvignon Blanc notes and a dry finish. A versatile beer that pairs well with spicy flavours and is also the ideal palette cleanser to cut through rich, caramelised meats.

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