Beer: Renewable Energy

High calorie content makes stale beer ideal for generating electricity. Cheers!

Making beer releases lots of harmful CO2 emissions and last month OGN reported news that Young Henrys brewery in Australia had discovered an innovative way of capturing it by using algae. Now, another beer story from Down Under has caught our eye.


When Australia’s bars and restaurants were closed during lockdown, huge stores of beer went stale but, happily, didn't go to waste. Or, rather, they did. They’re being turned into renewable energy - enough to power 1,200 homes in a month.


Outside Adelaide, almost 40,000 gallons of expired beer has been donated every week to the Glenelg Wastewater Treatment Plant. The 'amber nectar' is then converted into biogas and used as electricity to power the plant. And, thanks to its high calorie content, it's boosted energy production to a new high.


CNN reports that the treatment plant, owned by the South Australian Government, normally gets about 80 percent of its energy needs from local biogas made from organic industrial waste and sewage sludge. Now, according to Lisa Hannant, senior manager of production and treatment, the stale beer is releasing impressive amounts of energy and the plant is setting records.


“By adding around 150,000 liters of expired beer per week, we generated a record 355,200 cubic meters of biogas in May and another 320,000 cubic metres in June, which is enough to power 1,200 houses,” she told CNN.


Let's hope the lights stay on when the Aussies get themselves properly back on their bar stools.