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2017 Master Brewers Conference
86. Kona Longboard Lager—Life cycle analysis

Kristopher Scholl, Craft Brew Alliance, Portland, OR, U.S.A.

Coauthor(s): Julia Person, Craft Brew Alliance, Portland, OR, U.S.A.; Marisa Tottori, University of Portland, Portland, OR, U.S.A.; John Castle, Craft Brew Alliance, Portland, OR, U.S.A.


This life cycle assessment analyzed the environmental life cycle of a 12-ounce bottle of Kona Longboard Lager that has been brewed and distributed from Craft Brew Alliance’s Portland brewery. The upstream and downstream impacts of generated carbon emissions were assessed in this study, including raw materials, brewery operations, distribution, and end of life. Raw materials assessment included the transport and processing of the beer ingredients—water, hops, and barley—as well as packaging materials, including glass, crowns, labels, and 6-pack carriers, 12-pack cartons, and mother cartons. Findings revealed that the transport of malted barley by rail to our brewery was a relatively minimal emissions impact, while emissions associated with glass production, although using a high amount of recycled-content cullet, comprised of the majority of this category’s emissions and one-third of the total life cycle emissions. Within brewery operations, the production process was measured to include emissions associated with energy usage, waste generation, wastewater discharge, and supplies such as CO2 and chemicals. This segment contributed to only 16% of the total grams of CO2 emitted. The distribution category measured the transportation impact of product to wholesaler and refrigeration required. Percentages of total product shipped via trucking as well as via shipments to Hawaii were considered, with Kona Longboard Lager being widely distributed. Lastly, the end of life of the product with the consumer measured estimated refrigeration demand at home and eventual landfilling or recycling of the packaging components. The life cycle emissions of a bottle of Kona Longboard Lager was ultimately measured at 392 grams of CO2.

Kristopher Scholl is the senior director of operations and engineering for the Craft Brew Alliance. Mr. Scholl leads the company’s brewery operation and engineering teams and has championed CBA’s "world-class craft" performance culture. Mr. Scholl has been with CBA since January 2015 and is based in Portland, Oregon. Prior to his role at CBA, Mr. Scholl was responsible for brewery operations at Deschutes Brewery in Bend, Oregon, where he pursued his passion for craft beer after an 18-year career with Anheuser-Busch InBev. Prior to departing AB InBev, Mr. Scholl was the global director of brewing and quality with responsibilities for Latin America and China. Prior to the global role, he was the director of planning and performance management for North America with performance oversight for all Anheuser-Busch InBev North American operations. During his tenure at AB, he held various brewery operations positions, from brewing group manager, to brewmaster, to senior general manager. Mr. Scholl graduated with a B.S. degree in chemical engineering and minor in economics from the Missouri University of Science & Technology. He completed the Master Brewers Program at UC Davis in 2001. In 2008, he received his MBA from Syracuse University’s Whitman School of Management. Mr. Scholl lives in West Linn, Oregon, with his wife Kenesia and daughter Jacqueline. They enjoy hiking, exploring the Northwest and spending time, and great beer, with friends and family.

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