Hear from more changemakers making a difference – watch another episode.


In this episode of From the Ground Up:

  • You’ll meet James and Jimmy from Canyon Brewing, a local microbrewery making big progress in sustainability.

  • Discover how their Grain to Glass initiative is helping to lower the carbon footprint of their beers and close the waste loop. 

  • Learn how 60-year-old Southland farmer, James has been inspired to change his mindset around sustainability.

Canyon Brewing is a Queenstown micro-brewery with big ideas and aspirations, working to operate as sustainably and locally as possible. 

“Our Grain to Glass initiative came about when we were looking at ways to reduce our emissions and costs. Getting grain from elsewhere just seemed uneconomical. So we decided that we would utilise the farm, and grow our own barley.”

Canyon Brewing was shocked to find that malting barley (one of the key ingredients in beer) accounted for an estimated 33-39% of their total emissions. After more digging, they discovered that 60% of malt’s embedded carbon emissions came from the industrial farming of barley that is focused on volume and yield. 

“We've really tried to focus on keeping it as local as possible. We want our visitors to come to Queenstown and Central Otago and taste Central Otago.”

Their Head Brewer, Kit Clinton-Baker works with local farmers and suppliers in the Central Otago region to utilise by-products that would otherwise go to waste. 

“We’ve upcycled cherries that were getting thrown away to create a cherry sour and used sake leftover from Zenkuro to create a Japanese rice lager. You can put anything in craft beer these days!”

They’re also trialling a prototype electric vehicle on the farm, and feed spent grain from the beer-making process to their cows to reduce waste. 

Nearing the end of his farming career, 60-year-old Southland farmer, James says Canyon Brewing's sustainability initiatives have given him a new lease on life, “You've got to open your mind and have a go. We’re now looking at hydro energy and utilising what we’ve got on our doorstep to be more self-sustainable.”

Find out more about Canyon Brewery’s journey on their website. 


From The Ground Up video series digs deep into the stories of local businesses building a regenerative future within the Queenstown community. From pioneering world-firsts to grassroots initiatives, each episode celebrates those making a difference to the environment and their communities, from the ground up.

Hear from more changemakers making a difference to Queenstown’s environment and community – watch another episode of From the Ground Up.