AB InBev creates more sustainable brewing process, shares patent

AB InBev creates more sustainable brewing process, shares patent
Foto: AB InBev

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


Gas bubbles without cooking

AB InBev will become a lot more environmentally friendly when it brews beer: the beer group developed an innovative technique in its research center in Louvain, which creates gas bubbles without needing a lot of heat and water. The bubbles are essential to the beer’s flavour, but up until now, these could only be generated after an intensive cooking process.


“With this new technique, we blow gas in the brewing kettle through a new element. This allows the basic fluid to remain just below boiling point, without any consequences for the beer’s identity and flavour”, David De Schutter, R&D Europe director at AB InBev, said.


This innovation’s environmental impact is impressive: according to the beer brewer, its own breweries would lower carbon emissions by 5 % and its water consumption by 0.5 %.


Free for small breweries

Those numbers may go up if other breweries use the same technique, because AB InBev will open up its patent to smaller breweries for free. The major beer manufacturers will need to pay a fee based on their volumes and the innovation’s impact. De Schutter said this would be a good investment, because “once implemented, it will pay itself back within 2 years.”


AB InBev introduced the technique at the ‘Trends in brewing’ event in Ghent, a month after it had revealed its ambitious sustainability targets. “The new technique is an important way to lower our carbon emissions by 25 % before 2025, but it is definitely not the only thing we are looking at”, De Schutter added. “We are also looking at smart agriculture, water management and circular packaging.”