When we started West Sixth, we stated from the beginning that our goal was not to just brew great beer, but to have a positive impact on the communities we're a part of. We try to do this in a variety of ways - from supporting non-profits directly, to being a good place to work, to being as environmentally-friendly as possible. These values have informed many of our choices in building the brewery - such as our choice to rehabilitate an older building to house the brewery, to providing a living wage to all employees, to our ongoing commitment to donate at least 6% of all our profits back to organizations doing good work in the communities we're a part of.
We were inspired, this year, to try and create a measuring stick for our sustainability so that we could start begin to see how we live up to those values and set some good goals for our future here at West Sixth Brewing. We wanted to put it all on paper to see how far we've come, and how we can continue to improve to get where we want to be. By measuring these things under the categories of Social Sustainability, Environmental Sustainability, and Economic Sustainability, we were able to encompass everything we believe in.
Our social culture is deeply rooted in what we can do for the community we are a part of. With programs that give money back to folks who are doing great things, we were able to give $122,141 in 2016, much of it matched by our good giving partners. We also love sharing our space with the good beer drinking community through various weekly happenings here in the taproom.
On the economics spectrum, we are happiest to spend our money with local business at every opportunity possible. By doing this, we feel as though the places we live, work and eat are being benefitted by us in some way. We also bought a farm in Frankfort, Kentucky to remind people that brewing beer is an agricultural act, and that, too gives back to our great state.
Environmentally, we were conscious from the beginning that by choosing to can our beer, we were doing our part to be better for the planet as a whole. With that, and switching to reusable, stainless steel cups for some community events, we hope to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills. It is our biggest West Sixth environmental hope, this upcoming year, that we can continue to decrease our waste in recycling and beer making.
Last but not least, it is our employees who make the world go round at West Sixth. We want to pay them well, provide for them opportunities to grow and thrive, and give them access to benefits. We love our growing group and want to keep them!