BrewDog bio-energy: Drinks firm fires up waste-powered green gas plant

No one likes a gassy pint, but a beer made using low carbon green gas has plenty to recommend it.

Drinks company BrewDog has today taken a major chunk out of its carbon footprint with the commissioning of a new green gas plant that will power the production of over 176 million pints of beer a year at its Ellon headquarters in Scotland.

The company said the new £12m bio-energy plant, which will be formally unveiled later today, will result in 7,500 less tons of carbon emissions every year when running at full capacity.

The anaerobic digester will be fed by organic waste produced during the brewing process, with the resulting green gas then used to power the company’s brewery. From later this year, surplus gas will be used to fuel delivery vehicles and fed into the national gas grid.

The company said the anaerobic digester would help it recycle most of the 200 million liters of wastewater produced every year in the beer-making process.

It also revealed that in the coming years it plans to use CO2 created by the digester to carbonate its beer.

When fully operational, the digester will create around 200 cubic meters of biomethane per hour – equivalent to around 23,000 MWh of energy per year and enough to heat over 1,500 homes.

The facility forms the centerpiece of BrewDog’s £50m investment plans to slash carbon emissions per hectolitre of beer by 35 per cent versus its baseline in 2019.

“We’re not just here to make great beer – we’re making great beer that doesn’t cost the Earth,” said Sarah Warman, BrewDog’s director of sustainability. “Our ambition is nothing short of making BrewDog beer the most planet-friendly beer on Earth, and we’ve taken giant strides towards that goal with our new bio-energy plant.

“Our number one sustainability goal is to reduce emissions, and we want to lead the way for the entire brewing industry.”

The digester joins a portfolio of technologies and initiatives from the company designed to reduce its carbon emissions. For example, its Australian brewery generates 16MWh of energy a month through solar panels on its roof and the company’s US brewery is set to follow suit with its own solar array. Meanwhile, the company’s recently opened canning plant is set to deliver cans that boast a carbon footprint that is 35 per cent lower than bottled beer, with the firm working towards ensuring all its cans are made from 100 per cent recycled aluminum.

In addition, the company is backing one of the largest tree planting and peatland restoration projects in the through plans to plant over 1.1million trees across the 9,308 acre Lost Forest near Aviemore.

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