Our environment — be kind to it and it will not only provide energy for the body, but sustenance for the soul. This is the philosophy that guides all our activities at the Bowers Harbor Inn complex.
From appetizer to dessert, we respect the local farmers by using — and nurturing — the bounty of our local soil whenever possible. That’s why:
- We purchase as much meat, poultry and produce from local farmers and growers as possible
- We grow our own herbs and morel mushrooms (a pound a week!) on-site
- We craft our ever-changing, seasonal menu around the ingredients that are the freshest and most representative of the region
Specifically, most of our seasonal produce comes from Peninsula Cellars’ farm just a mile down the road on Old Mission Peninsula. The hour it takes from harvest to delivery ensures our squash varieties, pumpkins, cucumbers, tomato varieties, eggplant, peppers, brussel sprouts, beets, beans, red and green cabbage and zucchini are the freshest possible.
But we didn’t pick Peninsula Cellars solely based on proximity. Their focus on conservation and sustainable practices mirrors our own. For example, they use integrated pest management, which means chemical intervention only occurs when insects or disease are causing significant damage to the crops. These on-demand applications are in complete contrast to the traditional method of administering chemicals based on the stage of growth or the day on the calendar.
Peninsula Cellars also uses more labor-intensive practices than many farms. All their grapes are harvested by hand whereas other farms use mechanical harvesters that shake the grapes off the vine. This causes trauma to the fruit and increases waste as many more grapes fall to the ground.
This reliance on human touch continues with the farm’s dedication to pulling or hoeing weeds by hand in the gardens and vineyards. It’s just one more way they minimize chemical use and the farm’s overall impact on the environment.
Our dedication to sustainable operations extends far beyond just food. Our cleaning products are 99% phosphate-free and we will soon begin reusing all the wine and beer bottles we sell to completely reduce glass waste.
In addition, the brewing and distilling systems that produce our acclaimed beer and spirits are also predicated upon the same dedication to conservation:
- Spent grains from the brewing process feed local cattle on Old Mission Peninsula whose manure is then used to fertilize the hop and grain fields
- We buy hops from the local Old Mission Hop Exchange to support our local growers and ensure we use the freshest hops
- We use untreated water from our own well which has a nearly perfect pH of 7.1
- Our brewery employs a Clean-in-Place (CIP) system that filters and reclaims cleaning chemicals so that we can use them multiple times. When their useful life runs out, we dilute them so that there is no environmental impact whatsoever
- The brewing facility is lit by compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) to reduce energy consumption and is heavily insulated to contain heat
- We use high-quality bottles, which reduces the amount of breakage
- The water used to cool down the beer as it leaves the brewhouse goes back to the hot liquor tank and is used for the very next batch, thus recapturing nearly 100% of the heat out of the beer
- And more
It’s a simple approach. One that we hope will make a mark in the flavorful food and delicious drink we serve, but not on the land we love.