Environment
6:00 am
Mon May 7, 2012

New Louisville Brewery Relies on Solar Energy

Kentucky still isn’t exactly a hotbed of solar-powered energy. In the latest estimates, the state government says 92 percent of the state’s power came from coal last year, and solar didn’t even show up on the chart. But even so, one new brewery in Louisville is relying on the sun to power its beer-brewing process.

Apocalypse Brew Works held a soft opening late last month. Eight new beers were on tap, and all were made possible through the rows of solar panels on the brewery’s roof.

“We brewed last night, and we actually had too much hot water.”

Bill Krauth is one of Apocalypse’s three owners, and the owner of a heating and cooling company that shares the building with the brewery. He says the system can heat water up to 190 degrees in two days, and can heat 150 gallons of water at a time.

The panels have been up since last fall, and so far, Krauth says there’s never been any shortage of hot water. Even in the winter.

“So even if the sun is not out, we’re still getting some of the spectrum, the rays, ultraviolet rays, and it’s still creating heat for us.”

Krauth hasn’t done the math on how long it will take the system to pay for itself, but he says it’s a win-win: employees from his heating and cooling company installed the panels as practice for future jobs.