Off of Lexington, Kentucky’s Route 60 through the center of the town sits a scattering of warehouse plots. On Delaware Avenue one boldly painted industrial building towers above the rest. A rich, rust red paint catches the eye instantly, and five fifteen foot-tall paned windows stretch nearly the entire height of the structure. The windows stop just short of the newly refurbished tin roof, whose overhang shelters stark white letters atop the facade: “PIVOT BREWING”.
Pivot is one of a handful of Lexington’s microbreweries called the “Brewgrass Trail”, but distinguishes itself from the competition by boasting hard cider options, a thoughtfully designed space for gathering with friends, and of course their eclectically packaged and boldly flavored beers. Over the past year, the local watering hole has added another distinction to its list: they are “Kentucky’s solar powered brewery.”
In April 2020, the sustainability-focused brewery embarked on a new journey with their environmentalism, installing solar panels to help offset their carbon footprint and electricity usage. The panels, which sit on the back half of the brewery’s structure, cover up to 94% of the company’s electrical needs.
“Pivot’s mission, from its inception, has been to perform our operations in a sustainable manner and to promote environmental causes,” Kevin Compton told a local newspaper.
Installing solar arrays has become increasingly popular in recent years. Universities, steel manufacturing facilities and public schools across America have all delved into the photovoltaic world of renewable energy —one that offers a hefty return on investment. For Pivot Brewing, the reported savings are over $7,600 per year and offset the CO2 emissions of 118,000 driving miles by fuel-powered passenger vehicles. Pivot selected Solar Energy Solutions, a Lexington, Kentucky-based renewable energy company to contract for the installation last year. They are the largest in the region.
Compton continued his statements about his company’s mission, adding that “Pivot is committed to having a positive impact on our community and the environment.”
Beyond the beer and cider crafter’s most recent renewable endeavors, Pivot stems from a fascinating family history that has helped guide the owners reach the goals they continue to achieve today.
Founder Kevin Compton’s grandmother was a Rosie the Riveter during the Second World War — a collective pseudonym for women working in shipyards, factories, and assembly lines whose efforts aided in pushing the Allied Forces to victory by 1945.
“The spirit of the Rosies,” writes Compton, “the moxie of an underestimated group overcoming a significant challenge through teamwork, is why I created Pivot.” In this case, the hurdles are fostering community, environmental conservationism in a modern, business-minded world, and humanitarian work.
The company continues to host a number of events for their local communities, including Impactful Yoga every Monday evening (a yoga class supporting Green Source) and Christmas Cards for All (a card signing opportunity to send holiday cards to incarcerated individuals through a certified nonprofit organization).
Most recently, Pivot has worked to contribute and spread the word on behalf of the Lexington Humane Society, Firefighters Toy Program (helping give gifts to underprivileged children this holiday season), and Operation: Secret Santa (a local toy and food drive).
Pivot Brewing is located at 1400 Delaware Avenue, Lexington, Kentucky.