Apr 27, 2017

quote_-_annie_pollard_featured.jpgAs the co-owner and brewer of  7 Devils Brewing Co., a craft brewery, I seek to bring the inspiration of the Oregon coast to the tap. We’re located in Coos Bay, and my goal is to make my patrons feel like walking through our doors is as restorative and refreshing as walking toward the shore. Our community is so defined by the sea; environmental stewardship and social responsibility are among our core business values.

We opened in 2013, and the community quickly embraced us as a local watering hole. We started off as homebrewers with a genuine love for craft beer culture and Oregon’s natural wonders; our business was born out of a desire to create a homey, comfortable place to enjoy good beer in our community. Our name pays homage to the surrounding shore; the coastline south of us is the 7 Devils Coastline.

We’re deeply invested in the community we serve; sustainability is rooted in our business practices. Our mission is to “craft the change we wish to see in the world.” That change can be seen, most visibly, from the large array of solar panels on our roof. The 6.3 kW array provides electricity to a portion of our seating area, our tap room, outside lighting and an electric car charger. Since it’s installation in August of 2015, our solar panels have produced 13,535 kWh of electricity -- saving us over $825 a year in utility bills. As a small business owner, who has poured myself into making the dream of this business come true, I can tell you that every penny counts.

We also have energy efficient LED lights, and a rain garden to greet patrons out front. These investments in sustainability have kept costs down, while building goodwill with our customers, setting us apart from the competition, and helping build our brand.

We’re proud to be a part of the Renew Oregon Coalition and to endorse the Clean Energy Jobs bill. Investments from the Clean Energy Jobs bill will help businesses like ours to become even more sustainable, which in turn will help us cut costs. We’d love to be able to install more solar panels to power the rest of our building -- particularly to offset our refrigeration costs. We’d also love to look into how we could offer our customers beer with a smaller carbon footprint. Proceeds from Clean Energy Jobs could make solar projects like these even more cost effective.

Before I was a brewer, I was a marine ecologist. I spent four seasons working in the Antarctic Ross Sea where I personally experienced how a warming world is impacting its coldest corners. I am concerned about climate change. That’s why I use 7 Devils as a platform to educate about sustainability. We try to source locally, buy some malt from Oregon, utilize clean energy, donate all spent materials to local farms. We do whatever we can.

We also regularly offer science pubs to bring climate change to the forefront of the discussion. One featured a marine ecologist and oceanographer discussing how climate change impacts coast communities like Coos Bay.

Our story is but one example of many across the state -- small business owners rising to the occasion, leading on sustainability, and using clean energy investments to run their business more effectively. The Clean Energy Jobs bill can help businesses like mine do more, and when local businesses succeed, our entire state can thrive.