Nov. 10, 2010 /EIN Presswire/ – What does a beer brewer do if it runs low on water, or energy to power its operations, or both?

That was a question addressed by giant brewing company SABMiller, which looked ahead 30 years at four potential future scenarios and envisioned the “Brewery of the Future.”

Let’s say that the water shortages many areas of the world currently are experiencing get worse and energy costs continue to climb. SABMiller’s proposed solution to that could be a smaller, mobile brewery that would move from place to place on the back a ship.

Consultants say that such a solution would be feasible because it would allow for rapid entry into new markets where no infrastructure is in place and provide flexibility to avoid severe weather, natural disasters and political instability.

If, on the other hand, water were plentiful and cheap, but energy costs were high, local farmers might use the brewery mills for processing crops, while the brewery would use their agricultural waste to create bio-fuel as an energy source; the kilns used for malting barley might also be shared with local businesses as a facility for drying paper pulp.

If water were scarce, the study concluded, the brewery could be optimized for minimum water use, employing an alternative brewing system and advanced water treatment methods.

If both water and energy were plentiful, it would still strive for sustainability and best environmental practices. The brewery would use natural processes to upgrade waste or extract valuable chemicals from it so as to reduce environmental impact. Power would be derived from renewable sources such as solar panels, rainwater would be collected and as much water as possible recycled.

Maurice Egan, SABMiller’s group head of manufacturing said: “While this research has produced some imaginative solutions, the business case behind the thinking is very serious. We need to ensure that, given the rapid pace of technological developments, the impacts of climate change and growing wealth in developing economies, SABMiller has the capability to define, design and deploy our future breweries and supply chains.”

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