Brewing beer is a centuries-old tradition. Ancient civilizations in Egypt, China, and Mesopotamia were known to create malted beverages, and over time, it became a normal practice in various cultures worldwide. Many people cannot imagine life without it.
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Some aspects and principles of brewing have remained the same, but the technologies used have changed, and the industry has become highly advanced. The beer industry has become one of the most tech-fueled sectors.
Here’s a deep dive into some of the latest and greatest innovations in the brewing industry and how they’re streamlining the process and improving the taste of beer. Brewers would be wise to implement some of these technologies into their processes and make the most of them.
Sustainable Beer Technologies (SBT) is a brewing tech company headquartered in Golden, Colorado. SBT has two proprietary technologies for brewing called BrewVo and NexDraft.
BrewVo is a brewing process patented by SBT, whereas NexDraft is a revolutionary tap system. BrewVo enables the production and distribution of beer at one-sixth the traditional volume and weight. It integrates with standard brewing equipment and is industry-validated.
NexDraft eliminates the need for traditional kegs by mixing multibrewed beer from bag-in-box (BiB) packaging with carbonated water and alcohol. The result is a deliciously crafted beer with a classic aroma and taste.
Sitting and waiting at a bar or restaurant for your first round of drinks can be frustrating. That’s exactly what sparked entrepreneur Josh Goodman’s imagination. He ended up conceptualizing a system where guests could become their own bartenders.
Goodman created PourMyBeer, a beer-dispensing system placed on a wall that allows customers to choose their favorite beer and self-pour. This eliminates wait times and speeds up bar efficiency.
PourMyBeer offers plenty of benefits to customers and restaurants, bars, hotels and other establishments. It’s a high-tech system that came in handy during the COVID-19 pandemic when labor shortages impacted the restaurant industry, and it’ll likely become more widely used in the future.
Anyone over the age of 21 enjoys a good beer flight. You get to taste various beers, from lagers to IPAs to stouts to porters. FliteBrite is a company in Iowa that offers a few products, including a beer festival app, TasteTracker and electronic flight paddles.
The smart, electronic flight paddles from FliteBrite have a liquid-resistant touch screen where customers can order their preferred beer for tastings. They can even share posts about their tasting experience on social media.
FliteBrite paddles are lightweight, durable and ergonomic. Any restaurant, bar, brewery or winery could benefit from these electronic flight paddles.
New Belgium, a Colorado-based brewing company, set out on a mission to make its practices more sustainable. New Belgium is also a certified B corporation, meaning it meets the highest social and environmental performance standards. It accomplished this by implementing the Wonderware manufacturing execution system (MES).
The Wonderware MES system is a software solution that allows New Belgium to automatically track and record details about its entire bottling operations. The software harnessed bottling data and highlighted problem areas.
For example, the MES found that the company was only producing 150,000 cases of beer in a week, but with a few adjustments, it could be making around 300,000 per week. The MES system saved New Belgium money, helped it experience less downtime and improved operational efficiency.
Meura is a company that specializes in the design and manufacturing of brewing equipment, and its state-of-the-art technologies have made the company a world leader in its field. It’s located in Belgium and provides technology in brewing, distilling and grain extract.
Modist Brewing Co., located in Minneapolis, used Meura’s Micro-2001 Hybrid mash filter for its brewing operations. This equipment uses pneumatics to extract liquid wort from grains in 45 different chambers. The Micro-2001 is a rare innovation and not yet widely used in the brewing industry due to its high upfront cost, but it can be found at other breweries nationwide.
Sugar Creek Brewing crafts Belgian-inspired ales for its customers and was founded in 2013. It has implemented two revolutionary technologies into its operations — artificial intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things (IoT), which have improved its manufacturing processes and quality of beer.
After hosting IBM at the Sugar Creek facility for a training event, the company’s president and co-founder, Joe Vogelbacher, became interested in how IBM technology could improve brewery processes. Sugar Creek used AI to identify bottling issues and used IoT sensors to collect data about brewing operations. More AI or IoT applications for the industry may emerge, streamlining the process and enhancing the quality and taste of beer.
Technology has played a significant role in the way brewers make their beer and how people consume it. These recent innovations show how far the industry has come, but it also indicates great promise. It’ll be interesting to see what other brewing or beer innovations emerge in the future that will make the process more efficient and enjoyable for all parties involved.
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