An Alaskan brewery found a creative and green way to dispose of its brewing waste and reduce the overall cost of powering its operations.
A recently installed $1.8 million furnace now burns the Alaskan Brewing Co.’s spent grain, (the waste left over after brewing beer) and converts it into steam, which is then used to power most of the brewery, according to The Associated Press.
The quest for beer-powered beer began four years ago. In an effort to both reduce the cost of energy and find a more cost-effective use or disposal method for the spent grain, the Juneau-based company began looking into whether or not spent grain could be a viable renewable energy source. The brewery then hired a North Dakota company to construct a new boiler system, which when fully operational is expected to offset the company’s fuel costs by about $450,000 a year.
The Alaskan Brewing Co. makes several kinds of beers but is best known for its Alaskan Amber beer, the recipe of which is “from a turn-of-the-century brewery in the Juneau area,” according to the company website.