SABMiller, the second largest brewer in the world and the owner of brands such as Miller Genuine Draft, Grolsch, Peroni and Pilsner Urquell, has developed innovative technology which dramatically reduces the energy input required in the boiling process within its breweries. The new technology, which will be introduced across a number of SABMiller’s operations in the coming year, can dramatically cut the energy required at the point the unfermented ‘wort’ is heated to ensure product and microbial stability.
In a typical brewery the energy used in boiling can account for up to 40% of the facility’s total energy requirements, so the new technology has the potential to significantly reduce both fuel costs and the carbon emissions from the use of coal or oil-based boilers.
SABMiller has committed to reduce its fossil fuel emissions by 50% per litre of beer by 2020 and its water use by 25% per litre of beer by 2015, compared to 2008 levels. Innovations such as low-energy boiling will help the company take a significant step towards those goals.
“Elements of the brewing process have remained largely unchanged for many years. However, by applying new scientific techniques we are able to produce the same high quality products our consumers demand using less energy, which is good for us and good for the environment,” points out Professor Barry Axcell, group chief brewer for SABMiller.
The new technology, the precise details of which will remain confidential, has been in development for several years, with testing starting out in laboratories before graduating to full-scale trials.
Following extensive testing the new technology has already been installed in both South Africa and parts of Africa, with long term plans to roll it out globally.
With revenues of $26.4 billion, SABMiller has brewing interests and distribution agreements across six continents.