You might not have noticed, but beer concentrate has been around for a while now. I think our first report was back in 2014, but the company behind this process and its accompanying keg technology (Golden, Colorado’s Sustainable Beverage Technologies) continues to convert more forward-thinking brewers. Here’s an example: Last year, Deschutes Brewery announced the release of its non-alcoholic dark beer, Black Butte Non-Alcoholic, using Sustainable Beverage Technologies’ patented brewing process BrewVo. Ever since, that beer has been racking up the awards. Listen to Veronica Vega at Deschutes Brewery discuss the beer and Sustainable Beverage Technologies in the video above.
Now Deschutes Brewery and Sustainable Beverage Technologies (SBT) are taking Deschutes NA beers to another level. Strengthening its commitment to the category, Deschutes is investing in SBT’s patented BrewVo technology at the brewery’s production facility in Bend to produce and package non-alcoholic beverages at scale. From the press release:
“As consumer attitudes toward alcohol consumption evolve, we’re expanding our capabilities to scale this highest-quality non-alcoholic beer that rivals the flavor and aroma experience of a full-strength craft beer across the U.S. and beyond,” said Peter Skrbek, CEO of Deschutes Brewery. “Bringing non-alcoholic production in-house opens the door to expansion in a top growing sub-category of craft.”
According to this The New School article, Deschutes has previously brewed many of its non-alcoholic beers at a special facility in Colorado. Deschutes Brewery originally partnered with SBT for the release of a non-alcoholic Stout, Irish Dark in 2020 and by early 2022 launched the alcohol-free version of the brewery’s porter, Black Butte Non-Alcoholic, which utilizes all the same specialty malts and hops as the original for a full-flavor experience consumers expect from the No.1 selling craft porter in the United States.
“The team at SBT is very excited to be partnering with a world-class craft brewer in Deschutes — a true pioneer in innovation,” said SBT CEO Gary Tickle. “We share a deep passion for quality and with BrewVo technology, we will drive growth and category expansion with exceptional NA beers.”
How does BrewVo work?
BrewVo enables the production and distribution of beer at 1/6th the traditional weight and volume of normal craft beer. Integrating easily with standard brewing equipment, the BrewVo process produces “Multi-Brewed” beer that has up to six times the ingredient and flavor density of traditionally-produced beer, and it’s made using BrewVo equipment. When blended with water and alcohol later on, this Multi-Brewed beer yields identical flavor and aroma profiles as traditionally-produced beer. Or, brewers can easily create non-alcoholic beer by not adding the alcohol back. According to this article by Trevor Griner via FSR:
SBT creates the condensed beer using a process it refers to as nested fermentation. After brewing a portion of beer, the BrewVo machine removes alcohol and adds a new batch of wort, allowing for additional fermentation. After repeating the process a handful of times, what’s left is a concentrated nonalcoholic beer base, which can then be packaged alongside the removed alcohol.
The condensed beer is packaged in a disposable bag and shipped in a box, making for an exponentially easier transport than kegs. The process is also more environmentally friendly because once used, the boxes and bags don’t have to be shipped back to the point of origin.
Sustainable Beverage Technologies partners with Middleby Corporation Partners to advance NexDraft technology
Not only does Sustainable Beverage Technologies offer the means to create beer concentrate, but the company also offers a patented process aimed at revolutionizing the distribution process. To go along with its unique BrewVo process, Sustainable Beverage Technologies also offers a unique draft beer dispensing system called NexDraft, which is a cool new tap system which eliminates kegs. NexDraft technology mixes Multi-Brewed beer, transported in bag-in-box packaging (looks like this), with carbonated water and alcohol in real time to deliver classic beer taste and aroma. NexDraft tech provides a lot of protentional advantages for craft brewers, including eliminating kegs and saving on distribution costs to reducing water usage and extending product shelf life. Here’s how it works.
To help grow and perfect this NexDraft system, Sustainable Beverage Technologies recently announced a strategic partnership with the Middleby Corp., a global manufacturer of kitchen and restaurant equipment for the commercial foodservice industry. Middleby, in cooperation with Sustainable Beverage Technologies, will be manufacturing the NexDraft dispensing system. From the press release.
“The proprietary brewing innovation from SBT has led to an evolution within the beer industry,” said Korey Kohl, President of Middleby Beverage. “We have partnered with SBT and are excited to showcase this advanced innovation and dispense to a broader market. Statistics show the demand for nonalcoholic (NA) beer continues to rise, and with BrewVo patented technology, brewers can create and easily distribute an exceptional NA product. Pairing these brewing technologies with Middleby dispensing solutions will revolutionize the beer industry and expand our global reach.”
Middleby also noted that the BrewVo and NexDraft process and technology are both highly synergistic with Middleby’s existing capabilities — especially with NexDraft being manufactured by Wunder-Bar and utilizing Newton CFV technology, a system that provides constant pressure to allow precise carbonation/nitrogenation ratio control with water and beer concentrate. With Middleby’s investment and support, both companies see significant global growth potential. Another tidbit from that press release:
The small footprint of the NexDraft solution opens-up opportunities to retail formats where draft beer could never before be served — without the use of kegs.
Hmmm … Just another innovative idea emerging from the folks behind Sustainable Beverage Technologies. I’m excited to see where all this goes.
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