OktoberForest: Jackalope Brewing Co.
The Nashville-based Jackalope Brewing Company believes that brewing beer and sustainability go hand in hand.
Bailey Spaulding, CEO and cofounder of Jackalope Brewing Co., initially planned to work in the environmental field. She was in Vanderbilt Law School in Nashville, preparing for a career as an environmental lawyer when she started home-brewing as a hobby. The beer bug bit. She realized that fully when she did summer internships with environmental organizations Natural Resources Defense Council and the Southern Environmental Law Center.
“They were awesome organizations,” she says. “But I couldn’t stop thinking about beer! It became pretty clear that what I really wanted was to open a brewery.” So after getting her law degree, she and a friend started Jackalope, named after Bailey’s favorite imaginary animal.
“A good example in our community.”
Sustainability has been important all along for Jackalope Brewing Co. “Being good environmental stewards is something that’s very near and dear to us,” says Bailey. “For me, part of starting this brewery was to be a good example in our community. It’s another way to effect change.”
Jackalope was Nashville’s first craft brewer to can its beer. “We put our beer in cans instead of bottles to help the environment,” Bailey explains. “Cans require less packaging, aluminum is easier to recycle than glass, and it doesn’t break in the forest!” Other sustainability practices at Jackalope include donating all spent grain to local farmers to feed their livestock, using only recycled six-pack handles and recycling water. “Our brewing process is set up so we can reuse the water that cools our beer after it’s been boiled,” says Chief Operating Officer and business partner Steve Wright.
“You can’t have good beer without clean water.”
“There are a lot of small decisions you can make that help a bigger vision of sustainability,” says Bailey. “As we expand our operations, we are always thinking about adding additional types of renewables and sustainability.”
The Jackalope team firmly believes in protecting and restoring our forests, which is why they are excited to be part of OktoberForest. “We try really hard to give back to our community, and taking care of forests is ground zero for taking care of the environment,” says Bailey. “And if you don’t take care of the environment, guess what? Beer goes away. You can’t have good beer without clean water.”