News | Aug 02 |4 Min Read

Crafting Change

Rocky Ridge’s Journey to Sustainable Brewing.

Our philosophy at Rocky Ridge Brewing Co,  has always been to walk the walk and put action before words; to actively deliver before we talk about our projects. PLANET. PEOPLE. BEER. That’s Rocky Ridge. That’s who we are. We’re committed to being the best, most ethical and environmentally responsible business that we can possibly be, and that starts by working  with our supply chain to deliver on this promise. 

This week, something EPIC has finally come to fruition here at Rocky Ridge which we are beyond excited and absolutely pumped to share the news with you.

Like every story worth telling, this one started with a few mates sharing a beer…

Brendan and Gab Savage from Tolga Farm in Kulin, and Hamish Coates and Mel Holland from Rocky Ridge in Jindong came together back in 2021 with a shared goal – to reconnect a fragmented supply chain by bringing local, sustainable barley to each and every Rocky Ridge brew. A few beers later at the US Craft Brewers Conference, Phil and Dale Meddings from Bintani Australia enthusiastically embraced our vision and have since played a pivotal role in facilitating discussions with Joe White, part of the world’s largest maltster; Boortmalt, to help us take this to the big stage.

And in true Rocky Ridge style, we aren’t doing this by halves…

Last week, like kids in a candy store, we celebrated the arrival of the first 320 tons of single-origin, regeneratively grown, low-input, local malt from our friends at Tolga Farm, Kulin. That’s right – local family-farmed barley from our WA Wheatbelt was whole batch malted in Perth and shipped to us in Jindong to be lovingly turned into delicious Rocky Ridge Beers. The first time this feat has been achieved at a commercial scale! 

And to top it off – Tolga Farm, Bintani, and Rocky Ridge have all achieved Certified Sustainable Accreditation to ensure transparency and independent validation of this epic project. Certified Sustainable represents a commitment to positive environmental and social change at the source – to ensure real, tangible, and quantifiable outcomes.

Certified Sustainable barley boasts an astonishing 80 percent reduction in emissions compared to conventionally farmed products. Plus, this single-origin barley is now fully traceable for us, from the paddock to your pint. And the whole supply chain’s carbon footprint is offset by Rocky Ridge, with a little help from Carbon Neutral Australia. 

Did Green Beer just become a thing?!

This project holds vast significance on multiple fronts – it’s a collaboration that we are immensely proud of. Together, we sought to highlight the importance of local provenance and community to showcase a commitment to quality produce. Local barley growers, local maltsters, local distributors, and local craft beer producers, working together with a shared passion to promote sustainable agricultural and brewing practices, to encourage better ingredient sourcing across our industry, and to prove that doing the right thing does not mean compromising on quality.

This milestone represents a giant leap forward in reducing our carbon footprint at Rocky Ridge, with an estimated saving of more than 70 tons of CO2-e emissions annually in the malt emissions alone (that’s nearly 10% of our entire operational & supply chain footprint!), plus the savings in freight and handling emissions from preferring local.

Though hugely significant, this marks just the beginning of our sustainability journey from Carbon Neutral to Net Zero. Together with all our partners and supporters, we hope to inspire change, ignite innovation, and build a brighter future together through beer.

For more in-depth information on the push for Certified Sustainable grain and its impact on the brewing industry, you can read the article “Brewers & Bakers Up Call for Certified Sustainable Grain” on Grain Central’s website.

Collaborators: Tolga Farms, Bintani Australia, Certified Sustainable, Joe White (Boortmalt), CBH Group & Rocky Ridge.