Quest for Carbon Neutral Beer

Joanna Schroeder

Göss Brewery is one step closer to producing carbon neutral beer with the start-up of its new solar plant. The solar farm occupies nearly 1,500 m² and will generate a portion of the heat required for the brewing process. The brewery, owned by Brau Union Österreich and a member of the HEINEKEN Group, has embarked on a “Green Brewery” project to develop the leading CO2-netural brewery in Europe. This is the project’s most recent milestone.

Brau Union logoMichael Paula, responsible for the Energy and Environmental Technology department and representing Innovation Minister Doris Bures, drew the first climate-neutral beer. “The aim of our research support is to strengthen Austria as a business location. We are supporting Austrian companies to enable them to play a leading role in the fast-growing energy-technology sector in the future and are thereby securing and creating jobs,” said Paula.

Brau Union is backing a series of initiatives aimed at increasing the use of renewable energy sources and reducing the consumption of heat, electricity and fuel in the brewery process. In the case of Göss brewery, around 40 percent of its heat requirements are met from waste heat discharged from a neighbouring saw mill, and 90 percent of the waste heat generated in the brewing process is used to heat water.

At the beginning of this year a new boiling system was introduced in the brewing process, which helps to save just under 200,000 kilowatt-hours of power and over 6,400 m3 of water per year. In addition, the new solar plant will make an immediate contribution to the generation of environmentally friendly energy. The Göss brewery is also proud to use 100 percent Austrian raw materials, in recognition of which Austria’s best beer has been awarded the AMA seal by Agrarmarkt Austria Marketing.

As Brau Union continues to reach its goal of the carbon-neutral production of beer, they have compiled an own industry guide incorporating their key findings. In addition, the methods developed are also being used at the Puntigam and Schladming breweries.

International, Renewable Energy, Solar