Beer powered brewery

A brewer is going green, but instead of solar or wind energy it is looking closer to home – beer.

An Alaskan brewer has developed a boiler system which uses its spent grain from the brewing process to power its operations, according to Stuff.co.nz.

The company states that it is now creating "beer powered beer".

The waste issue of spent grain is usually solved by using it as a source of protein for local agriculture.

However for breweries such as these it often isn't an option, due to high shipping costs as well as the drying costs of the wet malt and barley.

Facing these difficulties, the Alaskan Brewing Co. (ABC) instead looked to using its waste grain in a different way.

It saw that a number of breweries already use their spent grain as a co-fuel in their energy systems, however "nobody was burning spent grain as a sole fuel source for an energy recovery system, for a steam boiler," Brandon Smith, ABC's brewing operations and engineering manage told AP.

In switching from using it to bulk out its energy resources to using its waste as a sole energy source the company was warded nearly half a million dollars in grants to build the special boiler system.

It is believed that once the system becomes operations in March, it will offset the brewer's energy usage by almost 70% annually.

Smith stated that while it hasn't been approached by other breweries about its system, he believes that it could easily be scaled up and used at larger breweries.

In an email to AP, US brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev stated that while its spent grain is not seen as a viable energy source to power its breweries, the company is investigating the implementation of new technologies for its operations.

The Bluetongue Brewery is reportedly one of the most sustainable breweries in Australia, and has water-saving and recycling measures in place at every stage of the brewing process.

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