As pubs were closed across the UK, thousands of gallons of beer that had already been brewed passed their expiration date – meaning in many cases they were simply thrown away.
But independent regional brewer Hall & Woodhouse has found a more sustainable solution to what to do with unsold beer. Through the brewery’s focus on green energy, the returned products helped create enough electricity to power nearly 17,000 average homes per day – or about 46 homes for an entire year. *
Toby Heasman, Hall & Woodhouse Head Brewer, said: âWhile the lockdown meant that many of our pubs had to return unsold beer to the brewery, the upside is that none of it was wasted. Through our wastewater treatment plant, all returned beer was used to generate green electricity. ”
In addition to its estate of 180 high-quality pubs in the south of England, the family-owned Hall & Woodhouse brews its award-winning Badger Ales. As the pubs were closed, Badger fans turned to supermarkets to purchase their favorite beers, leading to a sales boom.
The increased demand for Badger Ales in supermarkets and retailers has also helped to increase the amount of green electricity produced by the brewery, as all the wastewater created during the brewing process is also treated by generators. sustainable electricity.
Toby explained, âBrewing is a very energy intensive process, which is why as early as 2015 we started looking for ways to incorporate more green energy into the way we work.
âThe decision was made to make sustainable energy production an integral part of our new brewery, which went into operation in 2017. In addition to solar panels (PV), we have installed a wastewater treatment plant, which creates biogas. The biogas is fed by a unit that produces electricity to power our packaging lines and our utilities.
âThe heat produced by the combined heat and power (CHP) engine is used to preheat the boiler feedwater, which in turn produces steam to boil the beer.â
Hall & Woodhouse, which has been based at its historic headquarters at Blandford Forum, Dorset, since 1900, sets a monthly target for the use of self-generated electricity – and considers green energy production part of its target at longer term to become carbon neutral.
Matt Kearsey, Managing Director of Hall & Woodhouse, said: âAs an independent family brewer with a heritage stretching back almost 250 years, innovating with new technologies and ways of working has been at the heart of our continued success. I’m happy to say that we continue to look for new ways to maximize the creation of green energy to help conserve resources.
âWe have a responsibility to operate consciously and take continuous action to improve sustainability, to ensure that as a business we thrive for generations to come.â
Hall & Woodhouse reopened 19 of its pubs run in six different regions for outdoor dining on Wednesday, April 14, following the lifting of government restrictions.
In total, both in the managed domain and in the business partner (tenant) domain, there are currently over 100 pubs open for outdoor hospitality.
The company will begin the gradual reopening of the remainder of its Managed House property in the south from the week beginning Monday, May 17, in accordance with the government’s roadmap.
For a full list of Hall & Woodhouse pubs across the south, please visit www.hall-woodhouse.co.uk/our-pubs.