Sector News

Sustainable brewing processes: is circular beer the answer?

April 18, 2019
Consumer Packaged Goods

As the craft beer sector grows, locality and sustainability are some of the biggest reasons consumers choose less mainstream options. By the end of last year, there were more than 7,000 microbreweries operating in the US alone, evident of the demand for craft beer products.

According to DSM’s report ‘The craft revolution in brewing’, consumers of craft beer look for provenance and sustainability as part and parcel of their purchases. Fresh, local ingredients are also part of how craft beer is being defined by consumers.

Combining these two aspects – locality and sustainability – is Echo, a ‘circular beer’ that could represent the future of sustainable brewing.

Echo is brewed in Sweden at Nya Carnegiebryggeriet (New Carnegie Brewery), and is made from leftover sourdough bread from the kitchens of Fotografiska museum. Leftover bread from the bakery, restaurant and café are repurposed into a Belgian blond ale, with ‘a fruity taste and a mild bitter tone’, Fotografiska says.

The organic hops and malt from the brewing process are also used to bake new bread. This completes the ‘circular’ process that Echo goes through in a return to creating more food products.

Paul Svensson, Fotografiska’s creative head chef, explains more about how sustainability and taste can go hand in hand, which creates unique flavour experiences for consumers: “Our food philosophy is about sustainable pleasure, so we’re very happy to be able to unveil a beer brewed from our leftover homemade bread. We always strive to achieve zero waste and view leftovers as new ingredients.

“What’s more, we use the entire ingredient, enabling us to achieve unique taste sensations. This is just what this beer offers, as the leftover bread adds to the flavour.”

Experimentation is key to approaching new sustainability processes, Chris Thurgeson, brewmaster at New Carnegie Brewery, says: “We’ve experimented with brewing beer with a zero-waste approach before. We immediately embraced Fotografiska’s idea to brew a beer made from leftover bread.

“It’s both a fun challenge as far as brewing goes and a very timely reminder for consumers.”

By Harriet Jachec

Source: FoodBev

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