A toast to renewable power: it's making the sustainable cocktail

Breweries, distillers, and wineries worldwide are relying on renewable energy to lower operational costs and be more sustainable.
Written by David Worthington, Contributor
A Spanish winery (image credit: Wikipedia Commons)

Futurists forecast that clean drinking water, energy, and even fish will become scarce as human population climbs. Renewable power is ensuring that at least one staple of human existence remains plentiful: alcohol.

A vineyard in Spain is just the latest example of wine and spirits producers turning to clean energy to control operational costs. Scots are using tidal power to blend whiskey, and many beer brewers are recovering wasted energy.

Forbes' Christopher Coats published an article today about how Spain's Matarromera Group took advantage of government solar subsidies to produce more energy than it uses. Scottish distiller Diageo has been using tidal power to provide electricity for eight of its facilities.

Beer brewers are leveraging once wasted byproducts and reclaiming wasted heat:

  • Vermont's Magic Hat Brewing Co. has installed a system (more properly known as a Biphase Orbicular Biodigester) to extract leftover barley, hops, wastewater and yeast into an anaerobic methane digester that produces natural gas.
  • Anheuser-Busch is capturing heat that's generated during the brewing process to de-ice its loading dock during foul weather.
  • Coors' sells its ethanol byproducts to refineries throughout Colorado.
  • Some European breweries dry biomass for burning, to provide energy and heat that will brew more beer.

Sea bass might one day be off the menu, but Alaskan salmon paired with a rioja will still be enjoyed well into the future.

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This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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