Mudshark Brewery was officially awarded as America’s favorite solar brewery Friday after winning a national competition put on by the Washington D.C. non-profit Solar United Neighbors.
Mudshark took first out of 41 breweries of all sizes over 21 states participating in the first year of the competition. It was neck-and-neck between Mudshark and Legal Remedy Brewing in South Carolina, but in the end, Mudshark prevailed.
“Between my general manager here and my sales guy that works in the Phoenix market doing beer festivals, we got a lot of people to vote for us,” Mudshark’s Tina Stocking said. “We literally got people all over Arizona rallying up to support local.
“We didn’t do it on our own and that was the humbling part about it. It was really cool. Everyone came together for us and got behind us.”
Mudshark has been using solar power since 2011 to power its brewing facility on Aviation Drive.
While it is true, the reason for going solar according to stocking is deeper than the typical “solar saves you money and reduces your carbon footprint” answer.
“We were new parents to our twin daughters at the time,” Stocking said. “When you become a parent you kind start thinking about the world you live in, about the world they live in and are going to live in. So we just kind of thought we should start turning our business into a sustainable one and be eco-friendly. And that’s what we did.”
Being eco-friendly doesn’t stop at using solar power either. The brewery also recycles all of its spent grain, uses recyclable packaging and now recycles its wastewater.
The award comes just in time as Mudshark is planning to open its new tap room at the brewing facility called Public House.
The goal is it to be open by Thanksgiving and the taproom will be selling beer to go, kegs and beer to enjoy on the property obviously along with a selective food menu. A cappuccino station is in the works for non-drinkers and a space for dogs will be present to keep consistent with the brewery’s pet-friendly restaurant on Swanson Avenue. Tours of the brewery are also being planned once a day on the weekends.
“When we purchased the property in 2010 it was a whole acre of property with only the small building,” Stocking said. “So it was a long-term goal to expand our production and do a tap room. The tap room has been two years in the making and we’ve finally been able to achieve that.”