Located just a few hours up the road from MiiR, the Pacific Northwest favorite Aslan Brewing Co. is all about crafting beer that tastes good and does good. Community Outreach and Merchandise Director, Louise Gearhart, chats sustainability at Aslan in Part Two of this week's Cheers'ing Beers. As we gear up for St. Paddy's Day, we invite you to grab a beer, kick back, and read on – we’re stoked to introduce you to Aslan Brewing Co.
MiiR: Talk about sustainability at Aslan – what does that look like, how do you achieve that, and what are your goals?
Louise: We’ve worked hard to incorporate sustainability as a core value for every employee at Aslan. We see that each position has an aspect of sustainability, whether it’s being efficient with water use in the brewery or it’s the buying recycled paper for the office. These small decisions are made every day and really add up over time. With everyone onboard and through people leading by example, we’re creating a work environment that pushes people to both think more sustainably and help make Aslan a more sustainable business.
Our overarching goal is to going to continually evolve; currently, the main goal for 2019 is to reduce waste and water use. In the next month, we're going to install inline water meters for the brewery so we can better track our usage, which is the first step in reducing consumption.
M: How else are you pushing the boundaries of craft brewing?
L: Our expanded barrel-aged beer program has opened up a whole new creative outlet for our head brewer, Frank Trosset. With our second location, the Aslan Depot, we're afforded the space to house an expansive collection of whiskey and wine barrels to age and blend beers. The barrel project has yielded 10+ bottle releases (with many more to come!).
M: Why was it important to become a B Corp?
L: One of the driving forces behind Aslan is the concept that business can be used for good, and gaining the B Corp certification enabled us to quantify what exactly this means in practice. We’re held to a set of standards that drive our daily operations and we’re consistently challenged to grow as a result of this. One of the best things about being a B Corp is we’re inspired by a global community of businesses all driven by the same values, including MiiR.
M: What does “community” mean to you? How did you cultivate a space for that?
L: Community is everything to us here at Aslan! It all starts with our community of employees. On any given afternoon, you can find a group of Aslan staff connecting around a table in our brewpub over a pint. We snowboard together, we travel around the world together, and we drink a lot of beer together.
We’re really proud of the way that we have connected with our community over the last five years! Every month we give back to local nonprofits and partner with organizations to support the work they are doing in Bellingham, WA. We’re really excited about our new employee volunteer program for 2019 and have our first afternoon volunteering with the Bellingham Food Bank right after St. Patricks Day.
M: Why did you want to become a CustoMiiR partner?
L: We are so inspired by MiiR’s commitment to business as a force for good; the charitable giving projects that we help support through every custom Aslan x MiiR growler is exactly the type of merch that we feel good selling! Everytime we get to tell a customer that their new Aslan growler supports clean drinking water projects globally is a great moment; the fact that folks in our brewery can then check out where exactly in the world their dollars are creating change is huge. We’re stoked to join MiiR in Fremont this summer.
M: What exciting things are happening at Aslan that we can look forward to this year?
L: One thing we’re excited about is our new taproom opening in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle this summer. We’re looking forward to connecting with a new community and having the opportunity to share our beer and culture with Seattle first hand!
M: Favorite Aslan drink on tap right now?
L: We’ve got so many great one-off beers that come and go so quickly. But, a recent addition that we plan on keeping on tap semi-permanently is our Coastal Pils. It’s brewed in a similar fashion to the northern German-style pilsner and has pronounced zest and citrus-like bitterness. It’s hoppy with a refreshing mineral finish. Coastal Pils is usually available on draft and 6-pack cans at the brewpub.
M: How are you celebrating St. Patrick’s Day?
L: Every year we participate in the Bellingham St. Patrick’s Day parade. Aslan employees, our kids, dogs, and friends meet at the brewpub for donuts and coffee before joining other local businesses for a parade through downtown. We cruise in style in a vintage Volkswagen bus and love seeing the creative ways our community comes out to connect around St. Patrick’s Day.