Scientists at a new UK research centre will be hoping to develop the ‘holy grail’ of brewing: longer shelf life for beers.

SAB Miller today announced it is building a £3m global brewing research facility, which will be sited at the University of Nottingham’s School of Biosciences.

The Peroni brewer believes work at the centre, to be officially opened next month, will lead to advances in the sustainability and efficiency of beer production.

It will also conduct research on extending beer life, which is currently about 12 months for a bottled lager.

While this is sufficient for markets such as the UK, where retailers have a high stock turnaround, longer life would be a boon in parts of the world where transport and stock flow are more of an issue.

“In Russia, for example, if you don’t get your beer to the east coast before the autumn hits, it won’t get there that year,” said Nick Miller, MD of SABMiller’s UK operation Miller Brands.

A university team will also be based at the centre, looking at novel uses of brewing by-products.

“The brewing process has remained largely unchanged for many years and, compared with wine, spirits and cider, has been woefully slow to innovate,” said SAB Miller chief brewer Professor Barry Axcell.

“The new brewing research facility has the potential to drive a quantum leap in technological and process innovation.”

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