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Source: BrewDog

BrewDog has spent recent months emphasising its sustainability credentials

BrewDog has opened a £12m bio-energy plant it claims will power the production of 176 million pints annually.

The brewer claims its new anaerobic digester will help it save 7,500 tonnes of carbon emissions every year when running at full capacity.

It works by combining wastewater with spent yeast and hops from the brewing process, which are then digested by bacteria to make biomethane.

Since its Ellon brewery opened in 2013, BrewDog had reduced the volume of water in its production by over 50%, but there was still waste created by the brewing process, it said.

The anaerobic digester would help it recycle most of the 200 million litres of wastewater it produced every year, as well as generating biomethane to power the brewery’s boilers, it added.

When fully operational, the digester will create around 200 cubic metres of biomethane per hour – equivalent to around 23,000 MWh of energy per year and “enough to heat over 1,500 homes”.

The brewer plans to use the surplus green gas created by the digester to carbonate its beer, fuel its delivery vehicles, and help decarbonise the national grid.

The new facility formed the “centrepiece” of the brewer’s £50m investment plans to slash carbon emissions per hectolitre of beer by 35% versus its baseline in 2019, it said.

BrewDog director of sustainability Sarah Warman said the brewer’s ambition was “nothing short” of becoming “the most planet-friendly beer on Earth, and we’ve taken giant strides towards that goal with our new bio-energy plant”.

Reducing emissions was the “number one sustainability goal” and BrewDog planned “to lead the way for the entire brewing industry”, Warman added.

It comes as the brewer has spent recent years repositioning itself from a controversial punk upstart to a more sustainability-focused business.

Last year, it launched what it claimed was the first carbon negative beer club, added Planet Pale (4.3% abv) – a “planet-friendly” pale ale – to its lineup, and even billed itself as “the planet’s favourite beer” in an advertising campaign