Philadelphia, PA - Whether it is wine or beer, brewing is not necessarily a practice that performs well in sustainability. The process requires a lot of water, along with a significant amount of energy and gas spent on fermentation and shipping. There are also the spent grains and hops, along with the byproducts of canning. Requiring around seven barrels of water to make one beer barrel also leaves behind a significant amount of undrinkable water. So what to do with such huge wastes? It is a question the brewing industry is trying to solve earnestly.
Is It Ever Possible To Make Brewing Sustainable?
The answer must be yes, especially with the world’s need to be sustainable, to protect itself for the future. Heeding to that, many craft brewers and conglomerates are getting creative in accepting concepts such as reducing, recycling, and reusing in various unique ways. Some also try to give back with programs like tree plantations to reduce their carbon footprint. So, today, let’s focus on some of the key ways the world’s leading brewers embrace sustainability from below.
Investing In Natural Carbon Capture
With brewing requiring a lot of energy, one great way to be sustainable could be to try and capture carbon naturally. The Danish beer giant Carlsberg is doing precisely that with their partnership with WWF charity. Together, they plant Seagrass that can absorb 35x carbon when massed together in different parts of the UK coastline. The project is part of the brand’s ‘Together Towards Zero’ sustainability strategies.
At the same time, the Scottish pub chain BrewDog is investing in tree plantations in their forests in the highlands. The Lost Forest project spans 50sq kilometers and can pull around 1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The project effectively made the craft brewer carbon-negative from 2020. Head on to Untappd to learn more about the craft beer business from industry experts.
Boosting Efficiency With Blockchain Technology
AB InBev, the Belgium-based major barley buyer, is testing blockchain technology to track the barley for every beer to maximize efficiency and reduce waste. It hopes to create greater consumer awareness by transparently offering an end-to-end view of the entire supply chain. In turn, it will also improve the grower’s yield, ensure better soil health, and ensure water and energy efficiency. By 2025, the project also hopes to improve water availability in the most-stressed grower’s communities.
Zero-carbon Breweries And Zero-impact Ingredients
One of the most radical projects to make brewing sustainable is the one taken by Heineken. The Dutch brand wants to be a carbon-neutral beer producer by 2030 by using renewable energies. They also want to make their entire supply chain - from agriculture to cooling - sustainable by 2040.
In the meantime, AEB Brewing, the Italian producer of various fermentation products, has already started producing carbon-neutral ingredients. Moreover, in line with the brewer’s promises to support sustainability, it has already experienced massive success in tangible paper savings and CO2 reductions in the last years. Therefore, even homebrewers can now sustainably brew their drinks using different ingredients from AEB Brewing.