South London-based Gipsy Hill Brewery has claimed a world first with the launch of its offset-free carbon negative beers, Swell Lager and Trail Pale.

Both beers are brewed using barley grown through regenerative farming and hops which have been recaptured and reused, meaning each pint removes more greenhouse gases from the atmosphere than it produces.

While a typical pint of commercial lager produces at least 350g of CO2, with many craft IPAs starting at 500gCO2e, Gipsy Hill states its new brews have per pint carbon footprints of -40gCO2e for Swell Lager and -30gCO2e for Trail Pale.

The firm says this is the first time a brewery has produced a carbon-negative beer without using carbon offsetting – the process whereby businesses reduce the carbon footprint of products via activities unrelated to production, e.g., planting trees in another part of the world.

drinkers can enjoy a pint safe in the knowledge it’s actively improving the environment and helping solve our climate crisis

The beers are the only ones in the world to be made using certified regenerative barley, sourced from Wildfarmed, which works with farmers to implement regenerative practices, along with recaptured hops – the material that has been removed after fermentation from a previous batch of beer and then reused to bitter and flavour a new batch of beer.

“Making great quality beer has been our obsession for ten years, but I felt we had to find a way to do it more sustainably,” explains brewery co-founder Sam McMeeken. “Great beer should be guilt-free, and our new Trail Pale and Swell Lager mean that for the first time, our drinkers can enjoy a pint safe in the knowledge it’s actively improving the environment and helping solve our climate crisis.

“At Gipsy Hill, we have always tried to make sure our beer has a positive impact, and that’s why we have actively sought to introduce new innovations to the brewing process and work with the most innovative producers to push the boundaries of sustainable brewing.

“By truly embedding sustainability into our brewing process, rather than simply offsetting emissions, we have created a blueprint for sustainable beer range, but the wider food and drink industry.”

Edd Lees, co-founder at Wildfarmed adds: “We’re thrilled to be working with Gipsy Hill to create a beer that not only tastes great, but is great for the planet too. We’re making it easy for people to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems — like climate change and food security — by consuming food and drink made with ingredients from healthy, regenerative soil. Our Wildfarmed barley sequesters carbon, increases biodiversity, and is the gold standard of regen agriculture.”

The complete carbon lifecycle of the beers has been independently analysed by Zevero, a specialist carbon accounting firm. Co-founder and CEO Ben Richardson comments: “At Zevero, we’re passionate about creating solutions to help companies reduce their emissions. The work Gipsy Hill is doing with their focus on regenerative agriculture is not only exciting for this range, but should also be seen as a model for the whole industry to move away from the reliance on offsets in climate programmes.”