The Alaskan Beer Company brews its award winning beer in Juneau, Alaska. In an attempt to reduce the cost of its brewing process it has decided to install a generator for producing energy from an alternative source.
Quite often for factories this alternative source would be in the form of solar panels or wind turbines; however the Alaskan Beer Co. have decided to use a source unique to them – waste beer.
The brewing process at the Juneau facility uses water, yeast, grain, and hops, amongst other ingredients, to produce its beer. The Alaskan Beer Company has bought a $1.8 million furnace that is able to burn the grain leftover after the brewing process has been completed. The burning grain is used to boil water and create steam, which can then power most of the brewery’s operations.
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Normally breweries send their protein rich grain to local farms where it is used as animal feed for pigs, cattle, and chicken. Unfortunately there are only 37 farms in southeast Alaska where the brewery is situated and since its expansion in 1995 it has had trouble dealing with the excess waste grain.
Whilst this method of using grain to power its operations, works for the Alaskan Beer Company, I doubt it would be as enticing other brewers who have a plentiful supply of local farms demanding their used grain for animal feed. I imagine that the profit of selling the grain would be larger than using it to produce power and reduce the brewery’s energy bill.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com
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