Africa’s first Carbon Neutral Beer

For Darling Brew releasing a new beer is not a momentous occasion, the brewery prides itself on its innovation and its ability to stay a few steps ahead of its competitors and thus releases new beers regularly. However, the Darling Brew Blood Serpent, is something unique and something to celebrate in the craft beer industry in South Africa.

For those that know the story of Darling Brewery you will know that if there is one thing that they aspire to more than innovation it is their single-minded focus on conservation and their commitment to the environment. This commitment has translated into the very first carbon neutral beer in South Africa through not only donations but also through tangible actions in the brewery itself.

For Darling Brewery founder Kevin Wood this process is just the beginning of a quest to become South Africa’s first carbon neutral brewery through thinking smart and slowly chipping away at a list of initiatives that bring them closer to realising their goal. With innovations like waterless urinals, using natural air and ceiling vents for air conditioning and upcycling their brewery packaging into brewery furniture, is well on track.

Going back to the Blood Serpent which is also South Africa’s first Dry Hopped Lager the brewery has purchased certified carbon credits equivalent to the impact of the Blood Serpent beers brewed. These credits go towards the Kariba Redd+ Project in Zimbabwe. Kariba REDD+ – an acronym for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation –aim to empower local communities whilst preserving forests and protecting wild life. The carbon offsets are validated by the Verified Carbon Standard, the Gold Standard and the Plan Vivo.

For every 16 000 bottles of Blood Serpent produced the equivalent emissions produced by an average car driving 38 894 km is offset (4033.64 Kg of Co2-e). In terms of carbon sequestered, the offset is equivalent to 261 tree seedlings having grown for 10 years.

As with all of the Darling Brewery beers the name of the beer also plays a role in creating a conversation around conservation and the Blood Serpent is no different. The beer is named after the Secretary Bird with Serpent coming from its Latin name and blood from the fact that it stomps its prey to death. The Bird appears on the coat of arms of South Africa and is listed as a vulnerable species due to habitat loss and degradation.

There is no doubt that Darling Brew have released a winning beer in the form of Blood Serpent. Not only does it taste great but it also spreads an important message of conservation while at the same time starting several conversations around the way in which we consume and brew beer in South Africa.

Find the Darling Brew tasting notes here.

Interviewed and written by InstaEatsCapeTown