Foster’s to produce energy from beer waste

Posted by Pop The Cap on May 4th, 2007

(okay snarky types…no comments on how Foster’s already produces beer waste!  This is cool stuff.)

From Yahoo! News 

CANBERRA, Australia – Scientists and Australian beer maker Foster’s are teaming up to generate clean energy from brewery waste water — by using sugar-consuming bacteria.

The experimental technology was unveiled Wednesday by scientists at Australia’s University of Queensland, which was given a $115,000 state government grant to install a microbial fuel cell at a Foster’s Group brewery near Brisbane, the capital of Queensland state.

The fuel cell is essentially a battery in which bacteria consume water-soluble brewing waste such as sugar, starch and alcohol.

The battery produces electricity plus clean water, said Prof. Jurg Keller, the university’s wastewater expert.

The complex technology harnesses the chemical energy that the bacteria releases from the organic material, converting it into electrical energy.

The 660-gallon fuel cell will be 250 times bigger than a prototype that has been operating at the university laboratory for three months, Keller said.

“Brewery waste water is a particularly good source because it is very biodegradable … and is highly concentrated, which does help in improving the performance of the cell,” Keller said.

He expected the brewery cell would produce 2 kilowatts of power — enough to power a household — and the technology would eventually be applied in other breweries and wineries owned by Foster’s. The cell should be operating at the brewery by September.

“It’s not going to make an enormous amount of power — its primarily a waste water treatment that has the added benefit of creating electricity,” Keller said.

Julie Bradford passed along this article to me. The writer does a great job of capturing the risks and uncertainty surrounding the August (not April) 2005 lifting of the cap, as well as the current state of the market. Big props to author Tanner Kroeger and to John Shuck of the Carolina Brewing Company.


Local beer brewers embrace new legal limit
As of April (sic) 2005, NC can sell beer containing up to 15 percent alcohol — a change that has created new opportunities for breweries
Tanner Kroeger
Issue date: 4/17/07 Section: News

John Shuck knows beer. He’s a connoisseur, one might say. Sure, he started as an electrical engineer, working five years at a firm in Los Angeles, Calif., but after that, his life has been all about beer.

He worked in a microbrewery in Seattle, Wa. He also took classes in beer making in Chicago, Ill. And in July 1995, the then 29-year-old packed up his things and moved to Holly Springs, N.C., where he and his younger brother Greg teamed with their college-buddy, Joe Zonin, founded Carolina Brewing Company.

Twelve years and nearly 100,000 kegs of beer later, John, Greg and Joe operate one of North Carolina’s most successful microbreweries.

But it’s been an interesting three years for beer makers in the state. Amid trying to overturn a 70-year-old prohibition holdover law that limited alcohol by volume, some of the microbreweries faced a boycott of their distributor and saw profits take a substantial hit as a result.

And now that the law is changed and the boycott ended, North Carolina’s beer-making industry is starting to develop itself, catching up to the best in the nation.

Read the full article

New PTC newsletter

Posted by Pop The Cap on April 16th, 2007

The new Pop The Cap newsletter is now available. Rock on! If you don’t receive it in your Inbox, feel free to subscribe to the right. –>

A little excerpt, just for fun. Fixed for clarity on 4/17/07.

A New Cause?

I got a little mad at the North Carolina wine industry the other day. They’re just so, well, organized.

You see, I found out that this year’s Moore Square Farmer’s Market in Raleigh will feature North Carolina wineries who will provide samples and sell bottles of wine directly to the public.

The North Carolina General Statutes allow wineries to do this. Read the statute (bold mine):

G.S. 18B-1114.1. Authorization of winery special event permit.
Fee: $200.00

(a) Authorization. -The holder of an unfortified winery permit, limited winery permit or a wine producer permit may obtain a winery special event permit allowing the winery or wine producer to give free tastings of its wine, and to sell its wine by the glass or in closed containers, at trade shows, conventions, shopping malls, wine festivals, street festivals, holiday festivals, agricultural festivals, balloon races, local fund-raisers, and other similar events approved by the Commission.

Now substitute “brewery” for “winery.” Think this would fly? It might…if the North Carolina beer industry actually looked into it. Meanwhile, the NC wine producers — by tying in agriculture, tourism, and political know-how — has paved the way for state wineries to sell direct to the public for a mere $200. Kudos to them, and I mean that sincerely.

The Moore Square Farmers Market wants to include NC breweries as well. However, there’s no legal provision to allow this. Thankfully, the good people at the NC Wine and Grape Council are looking into ways the state’s breweries can share booth space or otherwise get invovled…but it’s only because they believe in the greater good of advocating NC-produced beer and wine.

It’s time for the best beer state in the South to grow up. Get focused. And fight for the rights NC wine producers have championed for themselves.

Stay tuned. A new cause may be emerging, and you may see some changes with our mission and focus. Balloon races and craft beer in 2008!

“Craft Beer Lawn Darts” Festival!

Posted by Pop The Cap on April 1st, 2007

It’s the first ever Craft Beer Lawn Darts festival!

Lawn Darts!

New newsletter, and volunteers needed

Posted by Pop The Cap on September 21st, 2006

PTC needs a few volunteers for the Cask Ale Tent at the October 7th World Beer Festival. If you serve the afternoon session, you get to attend the evening one for free. Same if you volunteer in the evening.

It’s easy, fun and air conditioned. Email me by the end of September if you’re interested.

Also, we have a new September newsletter. It’s freakin’ incredible.

ONE IMPORTANT NEWSLETTER CORRECTION: The Highland Imperial Gaelic sale will be at the new brewery in East Asheville, not Black Mountain. Yes, the new brewery is at the Blue Ridge Motion Pictures studio…*that’s* not a mistake.

Two good articles in the N&O

Posted by Pop The Cap on September 15th, 2006

These just in…

  1. Business article by Sue Stock on the lifting of the cap, one year later.
  2. “Life is good” beer lover article by Julie Johnson Bradford.

The one thing that I failed to mention to Ms. Stock is this: the beer selection is great, but I’m equally thrilled with the impact HB392 has had on a number of small- to medium-sized businesses. America is a nation of entrepreneurs, and it’s great to see a number of them flourish from the opening of this new market.

John Kerr: better than drinking straight vodka.

Posted by Pop The Cap on September 7th, 2006

A year later, I don’t like harping on the past. It’s so much more exciting to envision the here and now…and the future of craft beer in North Carolina.

But with ditties like this one…who can resist a trip down Nostalgia Alley?

Story courtesy of NC SPIN.

Kerr supporting his opponent?

Sometimes the stories about politicians seem almost too funny to be real, but one of our most reliable sources swears this one is the “Sunday School Gospel Truth.”

Todd Siebels is the Republican candidate challenging incumbent Senator John Kerr in District 5. It isn’t at all unusual that the two had not formally met, but a fundraiser for the Wayne County Sheriff appeared the perfect opportunity.

Wearing his “Seibels for Senate” campaign button, Todd decided the time was right and went over to Kerr, stuck out his hand and said, “Senator Kerr, I’m Todd Siebels and I’m running, so I thought I would say hello.” Kerr responded in the typical politician way by saying, “That’s great. It’s good to meet you and you can count on my support.” You could have knocked Siebels over with a pin. The stunned Siebels responded, “O really? You’re going to vote for me?” Without hesitation, Kerr said, “Yes, I sure will,” then paused and asked, “Now, who is it you are running against?”

“YOU,” retorted Siebels. We can only surmise Kerr’s reaction. We can understand candidates not paying attention to what their opponent is doing, but not even knowing his name?

Good luck, Senator Kerr! We’re voting just as you are.

INDY: A big beer tasting — one year later

Posted by Pop The Cap on August 25th, 2006

“In every pursuit, there are different levels of geekitude, and I use that fake word in the most affectionate sense. Take beer drinking. You’ve got the self-proclaimed beer monster who will drink the holy hell out of a keg–as long as it’s full of Bud Lite. Others ride a trajectory that goes something like Old Milwaukee to Michelob to Newcastle to Rogue to Dogfish Head.

Then there’s Jamie Guptill. He works at Durham beer mecca Sam’s Quick Shop, and he keeps a log in which he writes his impressions whenever he tries a new beer. He always brings his own beer to keg parties.”

For the full article, click here!

It’s all NC beer at the Raleigh Wide Open

Posted by Pop The Cap on July 26th, 2006

This Saturday!

Pop The Cap is very excited about this Saturday’s Raleigh Wide Open. In fact, we’ve sent out a press release to the local media announcing the fact that fourteen breweries and brewpubs — all from North Carolina — will be serving their beer at this event.

As far as we can tell, this represents the first time a beer festival has focused exclusively on North Carolina beer. It’s a good time to be a beer lover in the Old North State!

See you on the street!

The actual press release (PDF)

July Pop The Cap newsletter

Posted by Pop The Cap on July 17th, 2006

Hello! I’m having some problems getting the new July Pop The Cap newsletter out to our 1,500 or so subscribers. It’s now online, so if you know a thing or two about RSS feeds, you should be able to receive this notice (and future posts) about Pop The Cap and beer in North Carolina.

Personally, I use Mozilla Thunderbird to manage my RSS feeds, blog subscriptions and PTC email. You can also use Firefox’s Live Bookmarks feature to keep up-to-date with new blog posts and RSS feeds.

Microsoft Outlook does not currently enable RSS or Atom feeds, but third-party solutions for Outlook are out there.

Anyway, here’s the July newsletter. Let us know what you think of the new look!