Would you try brewing your beer as a liquid concentrate and then ship it like that to its destination where it is then mixed with water and dispensed, like it was a Coke or Pepsi? So, no more kegs or keg cleaning. A new Denver startup, Sustainable Beverage Technologies, is banking on some of you saying yes.
In 2015, watch out for “BrewVo.” From the USA Today:
Founder Patrick Tatera says investors are backing the business and he’s got partnerships in place with brewers, both “flagship” and craft, that he says have asked not to be named for now. Tatera’s technology is considered risky and radical for the brewing industry. Those who have pursued similar innovations before him have seen a backlash from regulators, health experts and the spirits industry.
Paul Gatza, director of the Brewers Association, expects brewers to be slow in adopting the technology. For one, it requires they become licensed as distilleries in order to produce beer with the high proof of a concentrate. And they’d have to decide whether pouches, over kegs, fit with their brand image, in light of the experiences of Palcohol and Coors.
“I would think an existing brewery would tread very slowly and carefully with something like this,” Gatza says.
The idea is different and nontraditional and a potential regulatory nightmare, but that doesn’t mean it’s not at least a little intriguing, at least for the right brewing operation and business model. For instance, Tatera claims his process uses 60 percent less water and 40 percent less energy than traditional brewing methods and can produce three times as much beer.
But Tatera has some compelling reasons why concentrate is here to stay. Margins in the beer industry are tight and getting tighter as consumers demand new ingredients and varieties. Reducing waste and recycling are already key ways of lowering costs at breweries, Tatera says. And brewers could face additional pressures from major constraints on water and energy usage predicted in the future.
What say you, craft brewer? Have you already stopped reading, or are you clicking through to learn more?