From Farm to Tap: How the Beer Industry is Embracing New Technologies

From Farm to Tap: How the Beer Industry is Embracing New Technologies

The beer industry has been a crucial part of human culture for centuries, and just like that, many traditional methods of producing and serving beer remain largely unchanged. In fact, the latest breakthrough innovation made in the history of beer is the invention of commercial kegs in 1950s. Even though innovations such as the manufacture of kegs to manual pouring and cleaning methods helped grow the industry, it can draw greater advantage from adopting new technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Data and Robotics, and Automation. And it has even become a must as the world faces more pressing challenges such as climate change and the impacts it has on the industry. Now it is clear that the industry must adapt to new technologies and practices in every step of their supply chain in order to remain sustainable and efficient. Let’s start from the first:

Less waste with Automation Technology

The beer industry is, on the other hand, undergoing a major transformation thanks to advancements in automation technology. Automated brewing systems are providing brewers with exciting opportunities to increase production levels while reducing use of resources and the costs significantly. These systems allow brands to monitor temperatures, pressures, and other variables during production stages in a precise manner, resulting in higher quality products and increased end-user satisfaction. Additionally, data collected through sensor-connected equipment can optimize processes, create predictive analytics models to anticipate future needs, and better plan inventory stock levels.

Anheuser-Busch InBev has implemented automated brewing systems in several of their breweries to streamline production and reduce costs, that use advanced sensors and software to monitor and control every step of the brewing process, from ingredient addition to fermentation and conditioning. This helps ensure consistency and quality across their entire portfolio of beers. 

However, the beer industry still struggles with inefficient and untrackable processes in the supply chain that lead to an average wastage of 23% per keg. To tackle this issue, Pubinno has created end-to-end solutions that aim to build the "Internet of Beer" and revolutionize the industry with sustainable and transparent practices. Using patented Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Pubinno's "smart" solutions allow all stakeholders in the draft beer ecosystem to manage their operations more efficiently and maintain high-quality, perfect beer while also preventing unintentional losses. By making the entire process measurable and traceable, Pubinno is reducing waste up to 20% and improving sustainability in the semi-industrial draft beer sector.

With our Smart Taps, we have saved 700 million liters of water and will continue to do so. In order to save the planet with cutting-edge technology, the industry must adapt to new technologies and collaborate with leading players. Join the mission now.

“Technology has a massive role to play in sustainability.To do that, the companies need to identify inefficiencies in their processes and supply chain, and collaborate with startups to address them.” -Max Leveau, on Perfect Beer Talks with Pubinno

Click here to watch the episode!

Sustainable Technologies in Brewing

Brewers today are increasingly adopting technologies to reduce their energy consumption and emissions. One key area of focus is energy-efficient brewing equipment. Modern brewing equipment is designed to be more energy-efficient, using heat exchangers, insulated mash tuns and kettles, and energy-efficient pumps and motors. This means brewers can use less energy to heat water and boil wort, resulting in significant energy savings. Heineken, one of the world's largest beer brands, has taken steps to reduce its environmental footprint across the value chain. The company has set a goal to become carbon neutral by 2040 and has implemented a variety of sustainable technologies, including renewable energy sources, energy-efficient lighting, and water conservation technologies. 

Another big player, Anheuser-Busch InBev has also implemented energy-efficient technologies, including biomass boilers, wastewater treatment plants that generate biogas, and carbon capture and utilization technologies.

Another approach to reducing emissions in the beer industry is by using renewable energy sources. Brewers can use solar, wind, or biomass to power their breweries, reducing their reliance on non-renewable energy sources like fossil fuels. Energy recovery systems, such as heat exchangers or steam condensers, can also be used to capture and reuse waste heat generated during the brewing process, further reducing energy consumption. And in fact, many breweries have already implemented sustainable technologies to reduce their use of fossil fuels in production processes.

Water saving technologies

Brewers are increasingly adopting sustainable technologies to address the environmental impacts of their operations. With water and energy being significant inputs in the brewing process, the industry is turning to innovative technologies to reduce their usage. Water conservation technologies such as flow meters, water-efficient cleaning systems, and water recycling systems are gaining popularity among brewers. Several beer brands have implemented energy-saving and water conservation technologies in their breweries, such as SABMiller's ozone-based water cleaning technology and Molson Coors' heat recovery systems and energy-efficient lighting. Heineken also built a new water reclamation plant in South Africa, reducing its reliance on freshwater, reclaiming wastewater thanks to its water recycling technology.

The journey of beer does not end until it is enjoyed by beer lovers worldwide, which is why reducing waste throughout the entire beer value chain is crucial. Despite the need to minimize water consumption during beer production, an alarming amount of water, averaging 102.5 liters, is required to create a single liter of beer from farm to glass, as per the WWF and SABMiller's report. At Pubinno, we tackle this problem by developing technologies that reduce water waste substantially. Not only have we saved 700 million liters of water with 60 million pints of perfect beer poured from our Smart Taps, but we also save 25% of water usage in the beer line cleaning process with our fully automated and patented Smart Clean.

“Pubinno’s Smart Taps provide optimized, and perfect beer pouring. The digital platform presents real opportunities and simplifies the data for the retailer. They have a very good vision of digital but not forgetting that beer has to be poured in a way that’s perfect.” - Molson Coors, on their partnership with Pubinno

 

Click here to see the full impact Pubinno creates for Molson Coors!

Smart Packaging: Providing Information and Reducing Waste

One of the most significant technological developments in the beer industry is the use of smart packaging, which uses technology like RFID tags and QR codes to provide consumers with more information about the origins and qualities of the beer they're drinking. This technology not only satisfies consumers' curiosity but can also help breweries track inventory and reduce waste. The global smart packaging market is booming, with a projected value of $37.9 billion by 2026 according to a report by Mordor Intelligence, making it clear that the beer industry is embracing this tech-savvy trend.

One example of the potential of smart packaging was seen in Molson Coors' limited-edition packs featuring color-changing labels that indicate when the beer has reached the perfect drinking temperature. This innovative feature not only adds a fun element to the drinking experience but also helps reduce energy waste by eliminating the need to refrigerate beer for extended periods, which is also a very carbon intensive process. 

Another step is taken by Heineken, who has recently developed two cutting-edge technologies to enhance the cooling of its products. "Chill it" cools their products in just 30 seconds, and the second technology, an IoT (Internet of Things) solution for retail, enables Heineken to monitor the effectiveness of their fridges at points of sale. These technologies provide customers with perfectly chilled beverages while ensuring optimal performance of their refrigeration systems at all times.

A disruptive technology that provides visible operations is developed by Pubinno, whose Smart Taps makes it possible to control the foam level and temperature of the beer. 

Pubinno’s draft beer systems not only deliver perfect beer but also provide valuable data on beer quality and anomalies to their business partners. With data-centered, smart solutions integrated into Pubinno's Smart Hub, users can access real-time data on needs-oriented issues such as sector sales average, brand-based detailed insights, KPI tracking, temperature, and keg efficiency.

The beer industry is embracing new technologies in order to increase output, reduce waste, and implement more sustainable practices. However, it is critical to look beyond and decarbonize the entire value chain through collaborative efforts.

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