Shade City: A Brewfest with a Green Heart

The ClimateHound Team
Apr 8, 2024
3 min read

One of the many beautiful things about Boise, Idaho is its community of dedicated business owners and nonprofit leaders who are committed to the health of our environment and who are working together to make Idaho’s City of Trees a special place for future generations. 

Back in 2020, Lost Grove Brewing and Treasure Valley Canopy Network came together with an idea: “What if we hosted an annual brewfest for Idaho that celebrates all of our purposeful companies and organizations? And what if this annual celebration, on Earth Day, showcased how a large community event can celebrate with local food and drink AND minimize waste and emissions so that we have minimal impact on our environment and maximum fun!”

A large community event can celebrate with local food and drink AND minimize waste and emissions.

Fast-forward to 2024, and now Lost Grove Brewing and Treasure Valley Canopy Network are hosting, in partnership with Idaho Botanical Garden and City of Good, the third annual Shade City Brewfest. 

Shade City Brewfest guests gather throughout the gardens to taste beers from the PNW and beyond.

The event has become known as Idaho’s can’t-miss Spring Brewfest, and this year’s edition will welcome 45 regional breweries offering more than 100 different beers, over 20 sustainability focused businesses and nonprofit organizations, a fleet of local food trucks, and thousands of attendees who are ready to celebrate Earth Day and our local community – all with as little waste as possible and a third-party carbon neutral certification from ClimateHound.

Shade City Brewfest’s strategies for reducing emissions and waste touch every aspect of the event:

  • Participants are asked to bring their own tasting cups – and in case they forget, Shade City Brewfest (SCB) has a stock of used cups from local thrift stores.
  • Reusable flatware and plates are used. These reusables only cost $300, vs $1,200 for compostables that still would have produced over half a tonne of CO2e. 
  • All reusable goods are cleaned on-site at a dishwashing station managed by SCB’s friends at Roots Zero Waste Market.
  • The fest also provides information on bus routes and other alternative transportation options, including electric bikes and scooters from Lime. 
  • With the help of Brigade Screenprinting, Shade City t-shirts are printed on-site and on-demand to eliminate waste. Promotional event posters are printed on the back of old posters or on recycled paper. 
  • ClimateHound has partnered in managing waste, and trash stations are staffed with volunteers to ensure trash, recycling, and compost are sorted correctly. This year, the goal is to ensure that NO food waste goes to a landfill! 
Roots Zero Waste Market's team running the dishwashing station.

With help from sustainability partner and platform ClimateHound, Shade City Brewfest calculated the 2022 event's total carbon footprint – an essential first step because you can’t manage what you haven’t measured! – and the 2023 event reduced or avoided emissions in nine areas of activity for a total reduction of 0.78 metric tonnes of CO2e year to year. This means that 4.5% of the projected 2023 emissions were avoided through thoughtful planning and the strategies noted above. 

As a ClimateHound certified carbon neutral event, Shade City Brewfest took responsibility for its remaining emissions – a running total of 31 metric tonnes of CO2e – by supplying funding spread across seven clean cookstoves, each supporting a Nicaraguan family (averaging four people). 

Nicaraguan girl safely touching the Ecocina cookstove in a traditional kitchen area.

These clean cookstoves cut fuel consumption in half, thereby mitigating deforestation, and they reduce smoke by about 90% compared to open-fire cooking, improving the lives and health of roughly 28 people. The impact of Shade City Brewfest’s decision to go carbon neutral with the help of ClimateHound may start in Boise, but it’s making a difference in the wider world! 

Hundreds of people rode their bicycles to the 2023 brewfest.

Join us at Shade City Brewfest 2024!

The 2024 Shade City Brewfest kicks off on Friday, April 19, and continues Saturday, April 20; buy your tickets now. If you’d like to help with the event’s efforts to reduce waste, consider signing up for a volunteer shift. You can make a difference even as an attendee by:

  • Leaving your car at home and using alternate transportation to get to the event. 
  • Bringing your own tasting cup.
  • Following the guidelines for recycling and composting your waste at the event. 

Together, we can make this year’s Shade City Brewfest the best one yet, for Boise beer lovers and for the planet! 

Become a net-zero contributor today, don't wait until 2050.