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April 2018

AB InBev creates more sustainable brewing process and shares patent

By Brewing process

Beer giant AB InBev introduced a new technique to become more environmentally friendly when brewing beer, which is expected to reduce its carbon emissions worldwide by 5%. It will also share this technology with smaller breweries in the future.

Gas bubbles without cooking

AB InBev will become much greener by brewing beer: the brewing group has developed an innovative technique in its research center in Leuven, which creates gas bubbles without the need for a lot of heat and water. Bubbles are essential to the flavor of beer, but until now they could only be generated after an intensive cooking process.

“With this new technique, we blow gas into the brewing kettle through a new element. This allows the base fluid to stay just below the boiling point, without affecting the identity and flavor of the beer, ”said David De Schutter, Director R&D Europe at AB InBev.

The environmental impact of this innovation is impressive: according to the brewer, its own breweries would reduce its carbon emissions by 5% and its water consumption by 0.5%.

Free for small breweries

These figures may increase if other breweries use the same technique, as AB InBev will open its patent to smaller breweries free of charge. Large beer makers will have to pay a royalty based on their volumes and the impact of innovation. De Schutter said it would be a good investment, as “once implemented it will be paid back within 2 years”.

AB InBev presented the technique at the “Trends in brewing” event in Ghent, a month after revealing its ambitious sustainability goals. “The new technique is an important way to reduce our carbon emissions by 25% by 2025, but it is certainly not the only thing we are looking at,” added De Schutter. “We’re also looking at smart agriculture, water management, and circular packaging. “

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