Estonian brewery taking small steps to lessen environmental impact


As one might expect from a brewery called Tanker, this Estonian powerhouse is hell bent on bringing fresh beer to the furthest reaches of the Earth. Established in 2014, Tanker is proud to have been in its infancy when the now globally celebrated craft beer scene in Estonia was coming to fruition, and ever since its mission has been to expand and diversify the landscape of the industry. In the words of Jaanis Tammela, Tanker’s co-founder, this brewery is “madly in love” with IPAs, lagers, stouts, porters, goses, berliner weisses and wild sour beers: “we like to experiment and sometimes even go a bit too wild, but we believe that our long line of beers has something for everyone”.

With Tanker’s focus being jointly on export and preserving the unique flavours of its high quality beer, packaging that supports those priorities has always been at the forefront of operations. Tanker was the first brewery in Estonia to buy a canning line and start canning beers to ensure they stayed fresh after transportation, but as Jaanis points out, an additional benefit of using aluminium cans is that they reduced the resources needed for transportation, and can be recycled endlessly. Aside from being fans of Beer52 and The Garden Brewery, Jaanis says “the aim of the Beer52 box is very important to us, to draw attention to the nonprofit organisations that’s daily struggles are to find new ways to fight climate change, conserve ecosystems and protect species in danger.

“Brewing as we know it is not a sustainable practice at all,” Jaanis continues. “According to the studies, it takes between three to seven hundred litres of water to make one single hundred litres of beer”. To combat this, Tanker has upgraded its brewing systems and CIP systems to cut water waste as much as possible. “Shifting a brewery to sustainability may seem like a daunting (and pricey) feat, but there are small steps we can take to lessen environmental impact. Sustainable ingredients, sourced locally is one option”. Tanker’s flagship beer, Sauna Session, contains birch whisks that are collected after the trees under surrounding power lines are trimmed. Normally these would be disposed of as waste, but Tanker adds 200 whisks to every 40 HL brew batch “magically turning wasted birch to beautiful beer”. 

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