Spring has sprung and the beer is brewed for Capital Brewing Co's Floriade pub, which kicked off with an environmentally-friendly twist in Commonwealth Park on the weekend. An assortment of internationally inspired beers will be served in BioCups made from plants not plastic. The cups will then be turned into compost by insects in a world-first waste management solution.
Not content with generating 10,000 plastic-cups during the month-long event, Capital Brewing Co has partnered with the ACT government, BioPak and local Canberra waste-management firm Goterra to go plastic free at this year's event.
"We were thrilled when Floriade organisers approached us with the desire to reduce the amount of plastic at the event," Capital Brewing Co's partnerships and events manager Dan Watters said.
"We'd already done our homework and said 'Let's go one better, and eliminate it entirely.'"
A plastic-free solution was first trialled by Capital Brewing Co following an event at their tap room in March, with 1000 BioCups shredded and successfully fed to Black Soldier fly larvae at Goterra's facility in Fyshwick.
Capital has partnered with leading sustainable packaging company BioPak to source the BioCups. Patrons are asked to use specially marked bins to deposit the cups before they're transferred to Goterra's facility to become a snack for their grubs.
"We are elated to be working with Capital Brewing Co and Floriade to help them reduce their environmental impact by supplying certified compostable cups made from plants not oil," BioPak's founder and sustainability director Richard Fine said.
"In a world first our BioCups will be recycled naturally, along with other organic matter, with the help of insects."
Made from polylactic acid BioCups are Australian standard certified commercially compostable and require special conditions for them to decompose. Until the Goterra trial, no facility in the ACT was able to handle the waste stream.
Goterra founder and CEO Olympia Yarger said "Goterra is focused on not only how we manage food waste, but what can we do to integrate better with our clients needs. Being able to provide a solution that its into Capital's vision of plastic reduction is a great achievement for us."
Environmental management is a cornerstone of Capital Brewing Co's operation. Their Dairy Rd production facility features numerous smart energy and water saving features. All grain and other organic material from the brewing process is fed to cattle or composted.
All packaging materials used by Capital is recyclable or compostable and includes marine-safe six-pack holders made from 100 per cent recycled, post-consumer waste. Watters said he hoped this would pave the way for other event organisers to reduce their use of plastic.
"We have the materials and now the facilities here in the ACT. There really is no excuse not to go that extra mile," he said.
"This could not be more appropriate than at an event such as Floriade, which is a celebration of our natural world."
Capital Brewing Co will be celebrating this year's Floriade theme A World in Bloom with an array of internationally inspired brews from crisp Czech Pilsners to big, hoppy West Coast USA double India Pale Ales, with all the specialty brews to be served in compostable BioCups. Capital's Floriade Pub runs from noon everyday until Sunday, October 13 near Stage88 in Commonwealth Park, Canberra.
Happy birthday brew
And while we're talking about Capital Brewing Co, it's their second birthday and they're celebrating with a massive party and it's free. There'll be eight local bands, food trucks (Brod Burger, Fricken Chicken and Hello Hanoi) and a special birthday brew. From 11.30am, Sunday, September 22. Out at the brewery.
From the time of colonisation, rum has been part of the spirits landscape. Once out of fashion and eclipsed by the modern gin craze, it's poised to make a comeback. Discover the range of modern Australian craft rums and the people behind them in this fun and informative session hosted by Phillip Jones, aka the Martini Whisperer. You'll get a welcome drink on arrival, platters to graze on during the event, plus a flight of four premium craft rums and more. Pialligo Estate, September 21, from 3pm.
If you work out at Brindabella Business Park, or find yourself out that way on Thursday, September 19, check out the Spring Markets in the Park, from 11am to 2pm in Town Square. There's a diverse range of local Canberra businesses, from food and drinks, to craft and homewares. Some foodie highlights include: Amanda eats cake; Bredbo Black Garlic; Cannoli Brothers; Contentious Character; and Three Mills Bakery.