As many craft breweries across the country continue to focus on more sustainable practices, some have gone as far as to pioneer their own sustainability movements. These companies are integrating common practices like composting, recycling and zero waste policies, but some are going much further, like Standing Stone Brewing Company’s (SSBC) Commuter Bike Program: the RPM Club.
Ashland, Oregon is home to miles of bike trails and a large population of two-wheel commuters. The city’s biking community inspired SSBC to create a program that would benefit their dedicated employees and help reduce the carbon footprint of the Ashland community.
The RPM Club provides Kona commuter bikes to employees who have worked at the brewery for 1,000 hours or more and agree to bike at least 45 round trips within a year of receiving their new ride. Since the program’s start in 2009, SSBC has provided 52 new bikes to employees to help promote a healthy lifestyle, and reduce fuel and greenhouse gas emissions.
SSBC worked with the city of Ashland to buy the parking space in front of the brew pub to install a bike rack. The rack fits 12-14 bikes and is always full with employee, customer and visitors’ bikes. Not only has the RPM Club inspired its employees to bike to work, but many other business in the area have initiated similar programs, including the Rogue Creamery and The Rogue Federal Credit Union.
Since purchasing the bikes, SSBC has received support from local bike shops and turned many previous car commuters into bike commuters. SSBC’s head brewer, Larry Chase loves explaining the bike program to the Ashland community, and adds, “It’s fun to hear comments from people who see multiple bikes on the rack with the Standing Stone Commuter decal—then explaining the program is even more fun.”
Cheers to SSBC and the nationwide movement to use more sustainable practices to promote a healthy and earth-conscious craft beer community.
Thomas Appel’s love for craft beer began after visiting a micro brewery at the end of the world in the Chilean Patagonia. He currently lives in the center of the beer world in Boulder, Colorado, where he is the intern for the craft beer program and a recent graduate from the University of Colorado. A native of the Sunshine State, Thomas can be found enjoying craft beer while getting lost on the beautiful rivers of Colorado!