The brewing business isn’t exactly green and a lot of energy is consumed by the boilers which help prepare the early stages of this favored drink. While there have been news surfacing from brewing houses around the world who have resorted to wind or even solar energy to partly power their operations, the Alaskan Brewing Company has taken an entirely distinct approach in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint. The brewing company has announced that they will now be using beer, more specifically the company’s spent grain, to produce more beer.
Until now, dealing with hundreds of tons of spent grain, which a brewing house as large as the Alaskan Brewing Company, usually produces, was a difficult task. Most brewers dry the spent grain and then use it as animal feed. However, since there are not many animal farms around the Alaskan brewery, the company had to ship or fly it to other farms in the Lower 48, where it would sell for $60 a ton, but the company had to spend $30 just to ship a ton of the by-product.
To solve the problem, the company started looking at ways it could use the by-product in-house and using it to power its own operations would have been the jackpot. As it turns out to be, the company then spent $1.8 million in buying a special furnace that burns the spent grain to produce steam, which then powers a majority of the brewery’s operations.
The Globe and Mail reports that the innovative steam boiler offsets the company’s yearly energy costs by 70 percent, which amounts to about $450,000 each year. Moreover, since the brewery is producing about 150,000 barrels of beer annually, they won’t be falling short of raw material to power their operations anytime soon, and even if they eventually do, they can still purchase the spent grain at highly affordable prices from others in the same business.