Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Sustainability at Marshall Brewing

By Wes Alexander

At Marshall Brewing, in Tulsa, Okla., we feel a true connection to our community. After all, our brand has grown through the support of our community since traditional beer marketing methods are not available to small craft brewers.

As such, we continually search for opportunities to be responsible community members. Two of these ways are through our extensive recycling program and donating our spent grain to a local cattle rancher. 

We have chosen Tulsa-based Shikoba Recycling for their ability to comprehensively remove and process all recyclable waste. Shikoba removes between 200 – 300 pounds of cardboard each month from the brewery, along with glass, plastic, aluminum, paper, stretch wrap and plastic bags.

Kristen McCormick, president of Shikoba Recycling states, “Marshall Brewing recycles close to 90 percent of their dry (non-food) waste. Marshall’s is a great example of how a small business can make a difference and take responsibility for their environmental impact not only by their good recycling intentions, but by excellent, efficient execution.”

Leading the charge for Marshall is brewer Tim Brophy. Brewmaster Eric Marshall confirms, “Tim’s dedication and vision for our recycling program has been an inspiration for the entire Marshall team. Without everyone’s help it would not be possible to recycle at the high level we achieve.” Marshall Brewing pledges to continue its efficient recycling efforts and together with Shikoba Recycling look for new and better ways to improve efficiency.

Perhaps the largest volume of recycled or re-purposed material at our brewery comes from spent grain. One batch of Marshall beer is roughly 600 gallons of finished product. One batch of Sundown Wheat for instance requires 800 pounds of wheat, malted barley, and flaked oats as base ingredients.

Once the sugary goodness has been removed from the grain, it has no further value at the brewery. However, it still has nutritive properties. Although not nutritious enough to be considered a high quality cattle feed, spent grain is used as a feed extender. Rather than dispose of the spent grain in local landfills, we have found a better use for it.

Bristow-based rancher Cody Beach of DM Beach, visits the brewery at least twice weekly to load 80 gallon barrels filled with spent grain from the brewing process. On average 6,000 pounds of spent grain makes its way to his local cattle each week to provide sustenance and nutrition.

Next time you are enjoying a locally-crafted Marshall beer, perhaps you will be inspired to do a little recycling at your home or office—especially those glass bottles. Also, conveniently located on the bottom of each six pack carrier you will find directions to Marshall Brewing Co., so you can return the carriers for us to re-use or recycle them. Collectively we can make a difference.