Ohio Brewery Leading by Example in Sustainability

HiHO Brewing Company

6. Clean Water and Sanitation 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities 12. Responsible Consumption and Production

Overview

There are many innovations going on within HiHO Brewery. Some of their sustainable practices incorporated into their everyday business include, the reuse and conservation of water during the brewing process, environmentally friendly packaging, reduction of waste, and involvement in environmental problems and education in the community. In the future they hope to start composting and to using renewable energy. The Sustainable Development Goals that they help solve now include Clean Water and Sanitation, Sustainable Cities and Communities, and Responsible Consumption and Production.

Authors

Margaret Busche

Margaret Busche

Lindsey Dorka

Lindsey Dorka

School

Kent State University

Kent State University

Professor

David DuBois

David DuBois

Innovation

HiHO uses a variety of innovations to promote responsible production and consumption. HiHO reuses the water that runs through their glycol hoses, which are used to control the temperature of the beer while it is fermenting and cools the finished product in the holding tanks. This prevents a large amount of water waste and also helps with their utilities as they don’t have to use as much water for their process. Their take out containers are all environmentally conscious and compostable and they sell reusable growlers, which is a zero waste method of take-home beer. HiHO strongly encourage their food to be consumed at the brewery as they feel the experience of their brewery plays a large part in what they are all about. All of their glassware and utensils provided to customers are reusable. This not only reduces waste but ensures that whatever waste there is, is not harmfully impacting the environment.

As far as innovations that help their sustainable community, they contribute in more ways than one. HiHO is very much involved in the wellbeing of their community, often hosting events encouraging their customers to get involved in community cleanliness and environmental problems. HiHO uses community events to bring their customers together and educate them on what’s going on in their city and how they can have a voice and be heard, an example of this is a guided letter writing even they hosted to push for the removal of the Gorge Dam in the Cuyahoga River. But HiHO doesn’t only focus on educating the individual members of the community, it also gets involved in events that support other local breweries. Through the Craft Brewers Association HiHO educates other breweries in ways to help their businesses become more sustainable. HiHO is too passionate to limit their sustainable focus to only one thing, and it shows with how much they choose to do within their business to not only run a sustainable practice but help others become more sustainable.

Ohio Brewery Leading by Example in Sustainability

Inspiration

Owners and founders Ali and Jon Hovan started their journey with craft beer in 2007. Since then they have been learning through experience and then took to the professional side in 2014, Jon becoming a Certified Beer Judge as well a getting a Diploma in Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering, and Ali led marketing and organization of the Brew Crew as well completing a small business start up program. This helped prepare them to realize their dream of opening HiHO brewery. They have always had sustainable morals and values. When building the brewery they used reclaimed materials and upcycled them into a unique and stylish interior for their brewery. But that was only the start! The dream of HiHO was made possible through the support of family and friends, and they haven’t forgotten the help, as since opening they have come up with countless ways to give back to their community and make sustainable community fun.

Ali and Jon were motivated to meld sustainability into the very roots of their business. In doing this they were able to go in multiple directions with their sustainability goals. Reusing water, donating spent grains to local farmers, giving back to the community, and all the other ways they’ve made their business sustainable were all possible to integrate when they made the decision to make this business sustainable from the start. Their vision is “to be recognized and respected as a quality craft beer producer in Ohio” and to “commit to using sustainable practices and being a good steward of the environment”.

Overall impact

HiHO impacts its community and local environment by giving as much support as they can to both the craft brewing community and the Cuyahoga Falls community. Through the Ohio Craft Brewers Association, HiHO helps educate other breweries in ways to help their businesses become more sustainable. Jamie holds a position on the sustainability board for the Ohio Craft Brewers Association.

The Ohio Craft Brewers Association created a tool that helps breweries track their utilities, waste, consumption and CO2 emssions. Jamie helps educate other breweries on how to use the tool. She says, “the idea and the hope is that the people on the committee are all using these tools and will go around and educate other breweries”. Education is very important in the sustainability community to share ideas and create a better world together. There are many business owners that wear many hats, and taking time to look through data sheets analyzing costs and waste is usually daunting, or simply too complex and time consuming for an individual to do alone. Jamie from HiHO tackles this problem on her own time, she told us “I use my personal time to help others because my position as a sustainability rep is unpaid.”

Business benefit

All these innovations are both beneficial to the environment and HiHO’s business. Jamie explained that their sustainable practices actually reduce their costs, reusing water in their brewing process being a significant example of this. It’s also fair to say that the friendly atmosphere and knowledgeable staff isn’t the only reason their customers keep coming back.Their emphasis on sustainability also helps their image amongst the community, and ensures repeat customers.

Customers that value sustainability in a business can have a guilt free meal and beer at HiHO, knowing that they are conscious of water and food waste, and locally source some of their menu items. Those who care about recycling past the extent of their own waste can appreciate the recyclable and eco friendly to-go containers, their compostable plates, and the fact that the brewery is plastic free.

Through incorporating sustainability in their mission and practices as a brewery, HiHO has also gained exposure. Despite being new, HiHO is participating in Sun-Grant, a Sustainable Beer Festival, that will also be featuring distinguished breweries like Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Great Lakes Brewing Company, and New Belgium Brewing Company.

Social and environmental benefit

All these innovations are both beneficial to the environment and HiHO’s business. Jamie explained that their sustainable practices actually reduce their costs, reusing water in their brewing process being a significant example of this. It’s also fair to say that the friendly atmosphere and knowledgeable staff isn’t the only reason their customers keep coming back. Their emphasis on sustainability also helps their image among the community, and ensures repeat customers.

Customers that value sustainability in a business can have a guilt free meal and beer at HiHO, knowing that they are conscious of water and food waste, and locally source some of their menu items. Those who care about recycling past the extent of their own waste can appreciate the recyclable and eco friendly to-go containers, their compostable plates, and the fact that the brewery is plastic free.

Through incorporating sustainability in their mission and practices as a brewery, HiHO has also gained exposure. Despite being new, HiHO is participating in Sun-Grant, a Sustainable Beer Festival, that will also be featuring distinguished breweries like Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Great Lakes Brewing Company, and New Belgium Brewing Company.

Many of HiHO’s customers and frequent patrons love the opportunity to partake in the brewery’s various sustainable events. It is important to HiHO to contribute to the community through philanthropy, collaboration and education. Roughly 50 people came to HiHO’s Earth Day Community Cleanup event, despite the inclement weather. Together they cleaned Summit Metro Parks Glens Trail, and all the participants received a discount on beer. Customers received the same deal after attending HiHO’s Ohio EPA Water Quality Discussion where they discussed the benefits of removing the Gorge Dam, they also hosted a guided letter writing event for the same purpose! Events like these that involve the community establish lasting relationships with their customers, and create loyal and returning patrons, certainly benefiting their business and keeping it possible for HiHO to continue to benefit their community.

HiHO also donates their spent grains to local farmers. Spent Gain is the waste product that is created from brewing after the mash extract the sugars, proteins, and nutrients from grains and malts. the The farmers who take the spent grain use it as feed for their livestock and for compost. By doing this HiHO saves waste from the landfill that would decomposed and cause the formation of the gas methane.

Interview

Jamie Sipps, Events and Community Coordinator

Photo of interviewee

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HiHO Brewing Company

HiHO Brewing Company

Cuyahoga Falls, OH, US

Business Website: https://hihobrewingco.com/

Year Founded: 2017

Number of Employees: 11 to 50

HiHo brewery is a craft brewery that prioritizes sustainability in multiple aspects, including clean energy, sustainable communities, responsible consumption and production, as well as clean water, and has melded it into their business model. Located in Cuyahoga Falls, they serve residents all over Cuyahoga County as well as customers beyond the county lines.