News Summary: Beer will help power Alaska brewery

Alaska brewery plans to use spent grain to power its own production plant

Associated Press

THE BUZZ: The Alaskan Brewing Co. is going green, but instead of to solar or wind energy, it has turned to a very familiar source: beer.

HEAD START: The Juneau beer maker purchased a $1.8 million furnace that burns the company's spent grain — the waste accumulated from the brewing process — into steam which powers the majority of the brewery's operations.

PARTY FOUL: Most breweries send used grain, a good source of protein, to farms and ranches to be used as animal feed. But there are only 37 farms in southeast Alaska and the problem of what to do with the excess spent grain became problematic after the brewery expanded. The brewery started looking at whether it could use spent grain as an in-house, renewable energy source and reduce costs at the same time.

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