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Tapping into Sustainability: Brewery Improves Production by Reducing Waste


In Great Falls, Montana, Jeremiah Johnson Brewing Company takes full advantage of barley grown in the “Golden Triangle,” fresh water from the Missouri headwaters, and other locally-sourced ingredients to produce its popular and award-winning craft beers. Started as The Front Brewing Company in 2012, Montana natives Jeremiah and Katie Johnson bought and rebranded the brewery in 2018 to further grow a line of beers with clear ties to the state’s agriculture and heritage. The company now produces seven canned beers for the retail markets in Montana, Wyoming, Washington, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Idaho, and specialized beers that are available on tap at bars and restaurants in those states plus Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Greater Las Vegas. In addition, a new Jeremiah Johnson tap room opened in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, in 2019.

The Challenge

Jeremiah Johnson Brewing Company now produces an estimated 10,000 barrels of beer each year. With growth, the company began to experience filtration throughput issues that limited further capacity expansion. In addition, management wanted to explore other efficiencies that could be implemented to reduce waste throughout the business and improve business profitability.
Working with Doug was great. He helped me take a deeper look at our true costs which has helped in our decision making. We also have greatly improved in the area of efficiency as an overall unit - which has led to greater profitability and job satisfaction for the team.
— Jeremiah Johnson, President

MEP's Role

President Jeremiah Johnson partnered with MMEC Senior Business Advisor Doug Roberts, who recommended value stream mapping as a tool for conducting an in-depth analysis of the brewery’s production processes. MMEC, part of the MEP National Network™, pinpointed inefficient use of resources in several areas, including power, materials, manpower, and product yield, and then helped the company identify strategies to address each.  
Created April 30, 2021, Updated July 16, 2022