Interview with:
Charlie Ingram
Telluride Brewing Co, Director of Sales

Q: Tell us how the “Peel Before Recycling” label came about?  

A: The stickers on our wrapped cans have plastic elements that confuse recycling machines during the sorting process.  Because the machines cannot decipher between the aluminum and plastic, cans are kicked into a bin that ultimately goes to the landfill.  We began printing ‘Peel Before Recycling’ on our labels to ensure consumers our cans are properly recycled.


Q: Do you have any evidence or feedback that the label works?  

A: Yes.  We have received lots of questions regarding why we print ‘Peel Before Recycling’ on our cans.  After explaining our reasonings people are stoked to make the extra effort to help us keep things green.


Q: How do we, as consumers, know that the canned beer we’re enjoying is recyclable?

A: As long as the consumer lives in an area that recycles aluminum, they will know the can is recyclable once the label has been removed. The sorting machines will then read the can as aluminum and recycle it accordingly.


Q: How can consumers better support the work breweries are doing on the sustainability front?

A: Keep buying beer from the brands who are doing their best to drive sustainability awareness and protect our mother earth!


Q: Looking forward, what new sustainability-related opportunities and challenges do you see ahead for Telluride Brewing (or for brewers generally)?

A: Climate change is real, resources are limited, and our impact on the earth as humans is immeasurable. Making beer, even craft beer on a small scale, has an impact and requires resources that will continue to be affected by climate change among other stressors. Beer requires good clean water, multiple agricultural products, steel, aluminum, and much more to produce, and it is not always consumed in the exact same place it is made. It takes a lot to make great beer, and it will continue to get harder to make it. While all of this is challenging, it opens up the opportunity to do things differently. We can stay local. We can use innovative technologies and materials to reduce our footprint. We can choose what’s best for the world rather than always choosing what’s best for our bottom line. And maybe in doing so, we can help make a sustainable future, that includes awesome things like craft beer, a possibility.


Q: What cool stuff can we look forward to from Telluride Brewing this coming year?  

A: Hopefully we can continue to pump out lots of innovative beers assuming we do not run into many aluminum can supply issues.  Across the board lots of breweries are having problems getting enough cans to meet their brands demand.  Unfortunately we are not an exception to this problem.  Fingers crossed this supply fracture is healed quickly!