With a high process heat and cooling demand as well as the growing of crops, use of water and purchase of carbon dioxide, beer brewing poses many decarbonisation challenges. But Moor Beer’s longstanding commitment to sustainability has seen them make many positive changes, from their premises to the very core of their manufacturing.
Their trademark is producing ‘live beer’, meaning carbonation happens naturally without adding carbon dioxide. They use grain from reusable sources to provide colour, flavours and sugars for their beers, which is then passed on as feed for animals. They also offer spent hops to local residents for garden composting and fertilising and use corn-starch labels on their cans. In their brewhouse they’ve installed lower energy fluorescent lights and timers to minimise electricity usage.
Moor Beer were awarded a £15,000 Green Business Grant from the Combined Authority to install a 47kWp solar photovoltaic array on the roof of their brewery. The impact of carrying out this work was:
On completing the work, Maryann said “there are few opportunities where we can save money without compromising on the quality for our customers, improve staff comfort and improve the environment for generations to come. It’s amazing to be able to tick all 3 boxes in one action. With the rise in fuel prices and inflation, the value of the solar panels will increase at an even faster rate.”
As well as the direct savings, the solar panels have been a talking point with customers, suppliers and the general public. “It got people talking, thinking, and hopefully acting on it.”
“I’m sure everyone can do their part and every little helps. But more solar panels on buildings seems to be a no-brainer.”
With the solar panels in place, Maryann is hopeful that they can continue their sustainability journey. “We have already replaced some fluorescent lights with LED as the fluorescent lamps fail… Going forward we will look into our finances for changing [them all] to LED lighting as the payback time would be 3 years, sooner at the current rate of electricity costs.”
They are also investigating the possibility of installing a small biogas plant to generate energy from spent waste, as well as carbon dioxide recovery. “The fermentation process of making beer produces carbon dioxide as a by-product. This goes straight into the atmosphere currently, but we buy in nearly £12,000 of CO¬2 annually.”
“The solar panels add a considerable boost to our commitment for a greener future. Support local and Drink Moor Beer!”
CO2e savings calculated using BEIS Conversion Factors 2017. Energy costs calculated from BEIS Energy and Emissions Projections 2018, using 2020 retail prices. West of England Green Business Grants 2019-2023 is funded by the European Union’s European Regional Development Fund and the West of England Combined Authority’s Recovery Fund.