The Friendly Viking Fund

Friendly Viking Fund

Last Friday, Two Brothers in Middlebury hosted the first of many Groennfell events to support the Friendly Viking Fund. In addition to $1 from each glass sold at monthly Pint Nights, all the proceeds from Groennfell’s 2015 Black Tie Gala will go to this fund.

So what is the Friendly Viking Fund? As part of Groennfell’s commitment to clean water and fresh food, the fund goes to two local charities, Lake Champlain International (LCI) and Vermont Fresh Network (VFN).

Lake Champlain International

Lake Champlain International

All of the water used at Groennfell Meadery comes from Lake Champlain, and all of our waste water eventually makes its way back to the lake. Needless to say, a clean lake is very important to us.

Unfortunately, Lake Champlain is not very clean. The water that comes out of our faucets has to be sourced far off shore and deep below the surface of Shelburne Bay to avoid the polluted water closer to shore. In addition to general pollution, high phosphorous levels in the lake lead to algae blooms which often produce cyanotoxins. These toxins kill fish and harm humans who swim in the lake. They can even kill your dog!

Most breweries, including Groennfell, use a phosphorous-based sanitizer on all brewing equipment at the beginning and end of each brew day. If this sanitizer solution goes down the drain, it eventually finds its way to the lake and contributes to the algae blooms.

At Groennfell, we’ve turned that problem into an opportunity. Instead of letting our sanitizer go down the drain, we collect it and use it to water our Green Wall. Plants love the stuff – which is why it leads to inordinate amounts of algae in the lake – and our green wall is thriving!

There are loads of simple things we can all do to protect our lake and ensure that we will have clean water to drink (and brew with) for generations to come. Check out LCI’s website to learn how you can help!

Vermont Fresh Network

Vermont Fresh Network

Most people like the idea of fresh, locally grown food, but it’s not always easy to find, especially when eating out at a restaurant. VFN’s mission is to foster relationships between farmers, chefs, and consumers to make it easier for chefs to source local food and for consumers to eat it.

Recently, VFN has partnered with LCI to help bring more local fish to our tables. There is plenty of delicious fish to be found in the lake and surrounding streams, but many consumers are unaware of this potential source for local food.

Still not sure about fish that isn’t Alaska salmon or bluefin tuna? You can try out locally-caught fish on the menus of local restaurants like Bleu Northeast Seafood.

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