Illustration for article titled Pints for the pines: Guinness uses unsold beer to feed Christmas trees
Photo: Richard Cummins (Getty Images)

It is a rare delight to hear about COVID-19-related disruptions to the supply chain that actually have a positive impact on the world. The Guinness brewery in Dublin is a great example of a major beverage brand finding useful solutions to an unfortunate problem: unused kegs of beer are being put to use as fertilizer for Christmas trees at area farms.

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The Independent reports that since the beginning of the pandemic lockdown, Guinness has been collecting the unsold kegs of its product from various on-trade customers (bars, restaurants, hotels, etc.). Director of brewery operations Aidan Crowe explained to the Independent that after the beer is collected, “we decant it and we disperse the product through a number of environmentally sustainable routes... The vast majority of the beer goes to willow and Christmas tree plantations, it’s used as nutrients in those farms.” Beer, it turns out, forms a rich compost.

Crowe confirmed that “hundreds of thousands of kegs” have been diverted in this way since the start of the pandemic, so if anyone in Ireland is feeling festive come December, they’re likely to find some of the most robust yuletide trees they’ve ever laid eyes on.

Marnie Shure is editor in chief of The Takeout.

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