Where Does the Brewery Stand in Terms of Environmental Impact?

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    Sustainability and environmental responsibility have been gaining popularity as a topic of discussion in several fields in recent years. Among them, the brewing industry in Australia stands as a prominent player, acknowledging the need to address environmental concerns and minimise its ecological footprint. With an increasing focus on sustainable practices, Australian breweries are taking proactive measures to mitigate their environmental impact and contribute to a greener future. Are you looking for a Mornington Peninsula brewery or distillery that will help take your business to the next level? We Tar Barrel are experts in the brewing and distilling industry, and we can provide you with all the services you need to make your business successful. 

    Like any other manufacturing sector, the brewing industry has an undeniable impact on the environment. From extensive water use to energy consumption in production processes, breweries can generate substantial waste and contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. As such, it becomes crucial to prioritise environmental sustainability and adopt practices that minimise the industry's ecological footprint. Water use is a major issue for Australia's brewing industry. Brewing requires large quantities of water throughout various stages, such as mashing, boiling, and cleaning. Given Australia's unique water scarcity challenges, it becomes even more vital for breweries to implement efficient water management practices, reduce water consumption, and responsibly handle wastewater. By doing so, breweries can not only conserve this valuable resource but also contribute to the overall water sustainability efforts in the country.

    Efficient Brewing Methods That Conserve Water

    Most breweries take great satisfaction in being environmentally responsible, socially conscious, and financially successful simultaneously. Therefore, simple water-saving strategies make economic sense for breweries and help preserve the planet's finite water supply.

    There is nothing more crucial to life on Earth than water. Water has maintained its ability to sustain life despite the stresses of the industrial age and the fact that it is both fragile and limited. Those with access to water may take it for granted but may also misunderstand its value.

    In the brewing industry, there is a growing recognition that commercial breweries, regardless of their size, must minimize water consumption per liter of beer produced in order to ensure their long-term sustainability. This concern is particularly relevant in regions like Australia and California, where severe drought conditions are prevalent, and yet the number of breweries being established continues to rise. This situation poses a challenge as water resources become increasingly scarce.

    In addition to water usage, another aspect that affects the brewing community is the emphasis on supporting local businesses. While many craft beer enthusiasts advocate for purchasing and consuming locally brewed beer, it is important to note that most brewers rely on imported ingredients such as hops, malt, yeast, and barrels, with only a minority catering exclusively to their local market. This reliance on international sources raises questions about the true extent of "local" support within the industry.

    The concerns surrounding the future of our planet are shared by both brewers and beer consumers, reflecting a growing global apprehension. However, it is worth noting that opinions regarding climate change and human responsibility vary significantly among individuals. While some fully acknowledge the existence of climate change and its anthropogenic causes, others remain skeptical or unconvinced.

    Some strategies for reducing water consumption in your brewery. Cleaning up spills with a broom, squeegee, or shovel rather than a hose is a more cost-effective approach to conserving water. A hose with a shutdown nozzle or, even better, a high-pressure, low-flow nozzle should be used. Having a weekly leak check conducted by a team of employees is another strategy for controlling water consumption. Did you realise that wasting only one drop per minute from three faucets adds up to more than 100 gallons of water over a year? Water can also be conserved by recycling it multiple times during an operation. For instance, the water used in the final rinse might be collected and reused in the pre-rinse process. Organise a scavenger hunt for your workforce to discover the untapped potential for water recycling and conservation. Finally, keep a usage log. It's impossible to manage what you can't measure. To save water and money, tracking how much water is used and lost at each production stage is essential. 

    Australian beer lovers are becoming more well-informed, and as a result, they are discovering the crucial role water plays in the brewing process. 

    An Estimate of the Energy Costs Involved in Operating a Brewery

    Beer's production cost includes the price of the energy needed in the brewing process, which accounts for 3%-8% of the total. Breweries have annual estimated energy costs of around $200,000,000. Saving money on energy for your brewery might be as simple as making certain changes. Breweries may improve their energy efficiency in a few key ways using current technologies.

    Complete an Energy Audit to Assess the Brewery's Energy Needs 

    To become more energy efficient, you should first do a comprehensive test of your brewery's present energy consumption. Then, an energy audit, a detailed inspection of your facility and its parts, might uncover ways to cut costs on your building's energy bills. In addition, rebates for renewable energy installations are available in many states. 

    Engineers can learn about a building's energy consumption and the potential for cost and resource savings by conducting an energy audit. Consequently, doing an energy audit on your property is crucial before you can design and implement a suitable plan for your brewery. 

    Energy Waste Can Be Reduced by Reevaluating Boiler and Steam Needs

    Most breweries spend between 25 and 35 percent of their overall energy budget on boiling the wort. The boiler could have holes that let steam and heat escape while the water is boiling. The cost of heating a building that doesn't need to be heated should be avoided by having the managers immediately seal any discovered. Pipes and other heat-generating equipment can benefit from insulation to keep money in the bank by avoiding heat loss. 

    Modify Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Settings to Lessen Wasted Heat

    Changing the fridge temperature by 1 degree can also help save energy. A small change of just one degree can save roughly 1–2% of energy. Furthermore, poor insulation may allow heat to transfer from the brewing to the cold storage sections. Keeping the temperatures at optimum requires more energy; therefore, taking care of your insulation can make a major difference in your bills. You can cut your monthly electricity bill by as much as 20% by making just a few adjustments. 

    Adjust the Pressures in Your Compressed Air System 

    Both the brewing process and the bottling of beer need the use of compressed air systems. In most breweries, it consumes 10% of the total electricity. The most effective technique to keep the system functioning without wasting energy is to keep the pressures within the specified ranges. In addition, the pressurised air system should be checked to ensure no leaks.  

    Analyse Packaging and Bottling Processes for Energy Waste

    The packing procedures on the bottling line can be improved for greater productivity. For example, if you're not using the conveyor system, you can switch it off. You can even rethink the packing and bottling procedure to make things go more easily. 

    Initiatives Towards Environmentally Friendly Packaging in the Beverage Industry

    According to data compiled by The New Daily, a new craft brewery opens somewhere in Australia every six days. Waste is an unfortunate byproduct of clinking beer cans and general merrymaking among beer enthusiasts.

    Beer can rings, typically fabricated from regular plastic, are extremely long-lasting. The effects of this resilience on marine life are severe. Beer cans need to be sealed, but finding a means to do it with minimal environmental impact is a top goal.

    Beer Cans With Plastic Rings Are a Major Threat to Marine Life

    They need to be packaged to ensure they won't open during the canning process, transport, or while being sold.

    Beer can rings are perfect for this, but unfortunately, they wind up in the trash after being used only once. In addition, beer can ring a common litter problem, as they frequently wind up outdoors, where they can break down into microplastics and kill wildlife.

    It's tempting to assume that a small number of can rings will be fine, yet plastic production and garbage accumulation are both significant problems on a larger scale. In fact, according to The World Counts, annually, almost 200 billion aluminium cans are consumed.

    Beer cans may use more environmentally friendly packaging options. Composting and the use of compostable materials are the answers to this dilemma.

    The 5 Easiest Ways to Achieve Zero Waste in Your Brewery

    To achieve zero waste and rid your life of plastic rings, follow these easy steps:

    1. Determine trash production  

    Yep. It's time to begin tallying up the cans. First, waste generation and packing needs can be estimated by looking at production history or projections. Then, reduce your use of plastic altogether by switching to compostable can rings.

    2. Make biodegradable packaging mandatory  

    Breweries should be required by contract to use compostable can rings instead of plastic for packaging canned beverages. Aluminium beer cans and their packaging are now suitable for composting.

    3. Train your staff and team.  

    Early education of staff and vendors about the process and its good environmental effects is essential.

    4. Talk to your clients.  

    Get the word out early to help your customers get on board with the effort and appreciate their great impact on the world.

    5. Make sure you throw things out the right way  

    Educate your clientele on properly disposing of beer can rings made from compostable materials. Learn more about how we handle waste on this page. 


    Australia's brewing sector is actively working to reduce its negative effects on the environment and build a sustainable future. In order to contribute to national efforts to ensure water sustainability, brewers must adopt effective water management practices, cut back on water use, and deal with wastewater in an ethical manner. 

    Breweries may save money and protect the world's precious water supply by adopting water-saving practices. In places like Australia and California, where fresh water is becoming scarce, this is of paramount importance. Water conservation methods for breweries are the focus of this article.

    Cleaning up spills with a brush, squeegee, or shovel instead of a hose, having a team of staff check for leaks once a week, and keeping a use log are all great ways to conserve water. 

    This is part of a global upsurge in research into techniques for making beer with minimal environmental impact. Determining trash production, mandating biodegradable packaging, teaching staff and vendors, talking to customers, and correctly disposing of beer can rings manufactured from compostable materials are the 5 Easiest Ways to Achieve Zero Waste in a Brewery.

    Content Summary

    • The brewing industry in Australia is actively addressing environmental concerns and striving to minimise its ecological footprint.
    • Water usage and energy consumption in breweries contribute to waste and greenhouse gas emissions, emphasising the need for sustainability.
    • Efficient water management practices are crucial for Australian breweries to conserve water and handle wastewater responsibly.
    • Supporting local businesses is an important aspect in the brewing community, but most brewers rely on imported ingredients.
    • Climate change and human responsibility are subjects of varying opinions among brewers and beer consumers.
    • Implementing water-saving strategies can help breweries save money and contribute to water conservation efforts.
    • Water scarcity in Australia and California poses challenges for the brewing industry, which continues to grow despite limited water resources.
    • Water plays a crucial role in the brewing process, and its value is being recognised by beer lovers in Australia.
    • Technological advancements, such as innovative brewing methods with minimal environmental impact, are being explored.
    • Prioritising water resources can lead to higher-quality products, cost savings, and a more environmentally friendly brewing process.
    • Energy costs account for a significant portion of beer production expenses, making energy efficiency measures essential for breweries.
    • Conducting an energy audit helps breweries assess their energy consumption and identify opportunities for cost savings.
    • Boiler and steam systems can be optimised to reduce energy waste and heat loss.
    • Adjusting air conditioning and refrigeration settings, as well as improving insulation, can result in energy savings.
    • Compressed air systems in breweries consume a significant amount of electricity, and maintaining proper pressures and preventing leaks is crucial.
    • Packaging and bottling processes can be analysed to identify energy waste and optimise efficiency.
    • Craft breweries are opening at a rapid pace in Australia, leading to increased waste generation.
    • Plastic beer can rings pose a threat to marine life and contribute to plastic pollution.
    • Sustainable packaging alternatives, such as compostable materials, are being explored to reduce the environmental impact of beer cans.
    • Achieving zero waste in breweries involves monitoring waste production and transitioning to compostable can rings.
    • Contractual requirements can mandate the use of compostable can rings, promoting environmentally friendly packaging practices.
    • Educating staff and vendors about sustainable practices is essential in achieving zero waste goals.
    • Engaging with customers and raising awareness about the environmental impact of packaging choices is important.
    • Proper disposal of compostable materials should be communicated to customers to ensure responsible waste management.
    • Water conservation, energy efficiency, and sustainable packaging are key areas of focus for breweries striving to minimise their environmental impact.
    • Collaborative efforts between breweries, consumers, and regulatory bodies can drive positive change in the industry.
    • Continuous research and development in brewing technologies can lead to more sustainable practices and reduced environmental impact.
    • Public support and demand for environmentally responsible products play a crucial role in influencing the brewing industry.
    • Adopting sustainable practices benefits both the environment and the financial success of breweries.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    While refrigeration helps to maintain beer freshness, not all beers require refrigeration. Beers that are unpasteurized, highly hopped, or contain live yeast cultures should be refrigerated to prevent spoilage. However, many commercial beers with preservatives can be stored at room temperature.


    The shelf life of beer varies depending on the style and brewing process. Most beers are best consumed fresh within a few months to a year, while high-alcohol or barrel-aged beers can be aged for longer periods, often improving with time.


    The ideal temperature for storing most beers is between 38°F (3°C) and 55°F (13°C). However, specific beer styles may have different temperature requirements for optimal storage.


    Yes, the storage position can matter. It is generally recommended to store beer upright to minimise the contact of the beer with the cap or lid, which can help preserve carbonation. However, some bottle-conditioned beers or certain styles may benefit from being stored on their side.


    Both canned and bottled beer can be stored using similar guidelines. However, cans offer better protection against light and oxygen, providing a longer shelf life and preserving flavours more effectively. If using bottles, ensure they are stored upright to minimise the contact of the beer with the cap.

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