While beer and wind may occasionally arise in the same conversation, it’s not normally in this context. The next time you’re in Brooklyn, make sure to spare a little time to visit Gutter or go exercise your thumbs over at Barcade. Why? Because you'll probably have lots of fun and that's reason enough. But besides the fun part, these twin establishments are both awesome examples of how an open energy market can make for creative alternative energy schemes. That's right. Brooklyn has two new green bars!
While both bars are entirely powered by wind, don't look for windmills atop their roofs. The owners light up their bars' stereo, vintage arcade games, and bowling alley respectively, with energy harvested by an upstate New York wind farm. Instead of buying their power from a coal burning plant, they’ve chosen to go green. Since coal power plants emit more carbon dioxide than any other source in the United States and CO2 accounts for more than 85 percent of the world’s gas emissions that cause global warming, that small choice makes a huge difference.
The bars themselves don’t scream green. Patrons enjoy local and regional craft beer not because the owners are trying to make point, but because it’s good beer. Visitors can play vintage video games at Barcade and try their hand at bowling at Gutter. On the surface, they’re low-key, fun establishments, the brainchild of 30-something Paul Kermizian and his freelance, creative, hipster partners. But their existence in NYC hints at bigger possibilities for other cities with open energy markets. Open energy markets encourage energy providers to offer alternative sources and slowly but surely demand will force changes in supply.
Imagine how many bars, bowling alleys, supermarkets or restaurants we could power here in LA if we were to better tap into alternative sources of energy? With plans announced just today for one of the largest wind farms in the Western US to be built in Utah, and its future power headed straight to LA, Burbank, and Pasadena, perhaps we’ll be talking about beer and wind in the same breath here soon too!