Christian Ettinger: Radical Sustainability Pioneer

Do you want to experience local craft beer and help the environment at the same time? Christian Ettinger has you covered with Hopworks Urban Brewery—the Portland, Ore. brewpub founded on the idea of radical sustainability. Not only does it offer some of the best organic beer around, but it also goes further in supporting environmentalism than any other brewpub. Check it out to find out how beer and sustainability can go hand in hand!

Christian Ettinger has been a pioneer in the craft beer brewing scene, founding Hopworks Urban Brewery in 2006 and building it into a world-renowned and award-winning brewpub. Advanced sustainability efforts have earned the pioneer praise from the brewing industry and beyond. We take a look at Christian’s story and the efforts of Hopworks to make the Earth a better place.

From Home Brew to Established Business

Ettinger started homebrewing as a hobby about 20 years ago, and continued to brew for years before deciding to make it his career. After he received his BA from the University of Oregon in 2000, he moved up to Seattle to attend the Master Brewers Program at the University of Washington.

In 2006, he decided to take his knowledge of the brewing process full-time and founded Hopworks Urban Brewery. Ettinger had a dream — to combine his love of beer and his passion for the environment by constructing a brewery that embodied his commitment for sustainability.

Eco-Friendly Brewery

On a mission to lead the industry in sustainability, Hopworks has taken environmentalism to a higher level — further than any other brewpub in the country. Innovative approaches to waste reduction have enabled them to produce award-winning craft beer while reducing impact on the Earth.

See also  Crafting Quality: Patrick Rue and The Bruery

Hopworks starts each efforts with ecologically sound building materials, such as low-VOC paints and wood finishes, low-flow fixtures, and energy efficient appliances. All Hopworks Urban Brewery locations are even bike-friendly!

Sustainable All the Way Through

At Hopworks, sustainability goes beyond the building and into its day-to-day operations. Here are some of the sustainable efforts that have earned Hopworks well-deserved recognition in the craft brewing industry:

  • 20% of the energy used by Hopworks is from renewable sources, and they strive to keep the number as close to 100% as possible.
  • They are the first craft brewery to be certified Salmon-Safe in the Pacific Northwest region.
  • Hopworks maintains a sturdy composting system to break down brewing by-products and kitchen waste.
  • Hopworks serves organic beers to actively encourage the growth of organic agriculture.


It's no wonder that Hopworks has won numerous awards and recognitions, such as OregonLive’s Most Sustainable Brewery, the Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Network’s Sustainability Award, and various awards at the Oregon Beer Awards, tasting events, and home brew competitions.

Christian Ettinger and Hopworks Urban Brewery have shown what a single business and its founder can do to advance sustainability in their field and beyond. In addition to their achievements in craft brewing, Hopworks also serves as an example and inspiration for all of us to work harder for our environment.

HomeBrewBook ©️ All rights reserved