carbon footprint—or the amount of carbon one releases into the
atmosphere while consuming energy—is completely eradicated. Katleski
was adamant about keeping Empire’s energy sources local, although it
would be cheaper for the restaurant to purchase energy from an
“When I approached the Blue Rock Group,
a Syracuse-based energy company,” continues Katleski, “the company
actually developed an energy prototype in order to serve Empire’s
Green empire: Aside from the damn good
food and in-house produced booze, the Empire Brewing Company now has
the responsible distinction of running on 100 percent New York-produced
renewable energy. MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTO
When a business switches to renewable
energy, it typically pays 15 percent more for energy than it would if
it opted to stick with non-renewable sources. The only money Empire
will save with the switch is on taxes and tariffs, which it does not
have to pay in the deregulated energy market, says Katleski.
In addition to its local energy sources,
Empire uses fruits, vegetables and herbs plucked directly from the
company’s own garden in Cazenovia to make all its food. The restaurant
also converts used fry oils into fuel, makes seasonal ales with locally
grown produce from Madison County and brews all its own beer at its
location in Armory Square.
Although the energy revamp ended up
being a slight economic loss for Empire, Katleski remains pleased with
his decision to go green. “I don’t think we can get around doing this,”
Katleski says. “I think this is pretty much going to be forced upon us.”
The eco-friendly, relaxed Empire Brewing
Company brews is located at 120 Walton St. It opens for lunch at 11:30
a.m. and closes at 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and until 11 p.m.
on Fridays and Saturdays. Bar hours vary. For more information on
Empire, call 475-2337.