What to do with 7m pints of unwanted beer?

Some 87m pints of beer have been thrown away since the pandemic started, the British Beer and Pub Association estimates. As Footrpint reported last month, many businesses have found enterprising ways to put this waste beer to good use: providing energy, animal feed or even a rich gravy for a takeaway pie.

Heineken this week revealed what it has been doing at its brewery in Manchester. There, like elsewhere, the machine that fills beer kegs destined for pubs has, unfortunately, been put into reverse, emptying them instead.

“After all the care, attention and passion that went into brewing the beer in the first place, it would have been a great shame to pour it down the drain,” said Matt Callan, the company’s brewery and operations director.

So, in Manchester the beer has been turned into “green energy” to power the brewing kettles and canning pasteurisers. 

Some 83,210 fifty-litre kegs (6,989,640 pints) have been drip-fed into the site’s waste-water treatment plant where an anaerobic digester converts the alcohol in the beer into biogas. The biogas is then used converted into heat and electricity to supplement the energy the site needs to brew beer and pasteurise and cans. 

Hopefully, the fresh beer will have a pub to go to soon.

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