Bang Brewing Company

Serving Up Suds with a Side of Water Conservation

Bang Brewing Company is located in the Raymond Creative Enterprise Zone in the West Midway neighborhood of Saint Paul. The brewing center is a unique, purpose-built facility with an emphasis on green design and environmental stewardship. The entirety of the highly efficient operation is housed in a 1,300-square-foot partial pre-fab grain bin, with a brew system custom-designed to minimize water use.

The Challenge

Since the Bang Brewing property was purpose-built from the ground up, Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD) had the opportunity to influence stormwater management on the site from the beginning. Together with its partner – Ramsey County Soil and Water Conservation Division – CRWD envisioned the space as a chance to educate customers about environmental awareness while helping to protect watershed health.
When first constructing the brewery, Bang Brewing’s owners planted a barley field around the building to strengthen the environmental connection to the brewery’s product. But within one year of opening, stormwater had washed all of the germinated grain into the street. The property was surrounded on all sides by impermeable surfaces.

The Solution

Using Stewardship Grant funds from CRWD, the majority of Bang Brewing’s 1/6-acre lot was converted to permeable surfaces to mitigate stormwater runoff, in addition to being landscaped with native prairie grasses and flowers. The brewery, with the help of Ramsey County Soil and Water Conservation Division and CRWD, also installed two multi-celled rain gardens to capture and infiltrate nearly an inch of runoff from the parking lot. While it may not be apparent to visitors at first glance, the rocks and grasses in the parking lot can catch and clean more than 100,000 gallons of stormwater runoff annually.

Results

Since opening in 2016, Bang Brewing has become one of the hottest microbreweries in a neighborhood increasingly referred to as the “Brewing District.” The stepped rain gardens of native plants provide a direct, visual reference to both the site’s stormwater management program, as well as to Bang Brewing’s over-arching sustainability commitment.

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