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Solar-Powered UK Microbrewery Launches Kickstarter Campaign

Sustainable-minded beer lovers rejoice because a new UK-based microbrewery called Bucks Star plans to use solar power to make its beer.

The startup says the ingredients, the brewing process and the energy source to run its machinery are all focused on “freshness and sustainability.” All of its beers will be handmade to boot.

To get its operation off the ground, the startup is crowdsourcing both funds and ideas for beer recipes. It has launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise £2,800 ($4,350 USD).

Donations of any amount are welcome, the company says. For a contribution of $44 US, backers can "champion" a new beer, having their names printed on a T-shirt made specifically for this beer. It will be promoted on the Bucks Star website.

A $71 US pledge is good for the T-shirt plus an opportunity to submit a beer style or recipe and to get involved in a pilot brew.

"We want you to become part of our journey and help make this happen," Datis, founder of Bucks Star, said to potential supporters in a statement. "If you are very passionate about beer, we're giving you an opportunity to enter your recipe."

Bucks Star is allowing 20 entrants to submit a beer style or recipe. Five of those will be brewed on its pilot setup and one winner will be invited to assist the company’s head brewer and brew the beer in its 10-barrel brew house.

Craft brewers have long been at the forefront of sustainability. A study released late last year found that over 200 leading craft brewers helped reduce their collective carbon footprint by over 3 million kg of carbon dioxide in 2013 by sharing a pool of kegs rather than owning their own. These findings, based on a study by John Heckman, Ph.D with PE International and commissioned by MicroStar Logistics, are being used as a benchmark to help the craft beer industry further minimize its carbon footprint each year.

Even bigwig brewers are taking action to help the environment. Just in time for this year’s Saint Patrick's Day, New Belgium Brewery, Guinness, Smuttynose Brewing Company and Deschutes Brewery joined dozens of brewers to sign the Climate Declaration, a business call to action that urges policymakers to seize the economic opportunity of tackling climate change. The 24 brewers range from local microbreweries to major international brands, and are headquartered all across America, from Oregon to Wyoming to Maine.

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