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Alaskan brewery powered by beer in bid to save energy

A brewery is Alaska is being fuelled by its own beer, in a manner of speaking.

The Alaskan Brewing Company (ABC) plans to use spent grain from the brewing process to help power the majority of the brewery’s functions and reduce energy costs by 70 percent.

“We had to be a little more innovative just so that we could do what we love to do, but do it where we’re located,” ABC co-founder Geoff Larson said.

The process works using an expensive broiler system, which will convert the grain into steam. Or, as the ABC officials put it, they are now creating, “beer-powered beer”, in one of the nation’s largest craft breweries.

And even though the brewery spent $1.8 million (R16m) on the broiler, minus a $500 000 federal grant, it is expected to save the firm money over the long run. Brandon Smith, the brewery’s operations and engineering manager, says the broiler will save his company about $450 000 a year.

“Renewable energy is one of the integral components to Alaska’s future. The new steam boiler at ABC is a great example of a forward-thinking approach to harnessing a new fuel source,” Alaska rural development state director Jim Nordlund said in a statement.

Most breweries sell their spent grains to local farms. But because of the Alaskan brewery’s remote location, drying and shipping the grain was proving to be both expensive and wasteful. – Sapa-AP

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