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Breweries Meeting Water Usage Challenges

Breweries historically use a lot of fresh water, and this has been a concern for many across the globe, but some of the Breweries are coming to the party with innovative water-saving ideas, and this will hopefully encourage others to do the same.

Scottish firm Glenmorangie, known for producing delicious bottles of single malt whisky, has taken a bold step towards producing its own energy from waste.

Glenmorangie, which produces between four to five million Litres of whisky annually, recently took delivery of an anaerobic membrane bioreactor system at its distillery in Scotland’s Northern Highlands.

It takes between ten and twelve litres of water to produce one litre of whisky, but the anaerobic digestion plant at the Ross-shire distillery reduces output in distillery wastewater by up to 95% and creates energy in the form of methane rich biogas by utilising natural biological processes. The biogas replaces some of the fossil fuels used at the distillery to heat the stills in which the spirit is made. The plant now largely operates automatically via the use of ultra-filtration tubular membrane technology.

Heineken, Tiger Beer and Guinness brewer Asia Pacific Breweries (APB) is also constructing a water reuse facility to help the company meet in excess of 10% of its annual water needs. The $1.8 million development will eventually treat 66,750 cubic metres of water per year.

This is just a start by APB, and forms part of a wider plan by breweries to reduce their water footprints globally, for both economic and sustainability reasons.

Heineken set out the target to use 3.5 times the amount of water as the final end product produced, or 350 litres per 100 litres (hl), by 2020 in its 2015 Sustainability Report. This will drop to 3.3hl/hl in water-scarce areas.

At a ground-breaking ceremony for the Singapore facility, APB announced that it plans to reduce its water consumption by 30% by 2020.

The company said: “We have been assessing water-related risks since 2010 and focus our immediate efforts on the 23 breweries in water-stressed areas. By the end of 2015, 20 of these sites have completed a Source Water Protection Plan.”

Samson Wong, managing director of APB, reportedly said: “We hope that with projects like this, we can also inspire ourselves more on this sustainable journey and also our (industry) partners…to also look deeper into their sustainability agenda.

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Breweries Meeting Water Usage Challenges


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