Your favorite malted beverage gets greened

In a new effort to expedite the brewing process and produce greener beers, your favorite malted beverage may soon have a smaller carbon footprint but no longer be malted.


 

According to a May 18 write-up on industry site just-drinks.com by Larry Nelson, editor of a column for the international magazine Brewers' Guardian, you soon may no longer be able to find a bottle that reads "only the finest malt and hops have been used."

A new enzyme, Ondea Pro, has been developed by Novozymes, a Danish biotech firm, "that makes it possible to brew highly credible beer without the necessity of having to use malt barley."

An example is Clim8 Beer, which is brewed with 100% barley (unmalted), by Harboes in Denmark. Its site boasts that: "Clim8Beer is nothing less than a revolution, a fresh lager brewed in a modern way, saving the environment for more than 8g CO2 per unit. Still, with the same great taste of course. Doing both you and your surroundings good. 8gm of CO2 emissions is saved per 33cl serving." The beer is presently available only in select Danish coops.

It's not clear if the development of Ondea Pro will create a trend that will launch a sea of 100% barley beers.

Brewers are true to their roots and given the fact that many microbreweries promote drinking local, sustainable production and "drink neutral" campaigns, it is unlikely there will be an immediate shift that drops the malted beverages' prized ingredient.

Nelson also spotted a few production trends that might impact the price and taste of your beer worldwide:

 - Some larger brewers like SABMiller and Diageo are looking at alternative starches (sorghum, popular in Nigerian beers and cassava) to keep the low-priced beer market growing. 

- Carlsberg and Heineken have come together to make sure beer stays fresh with an initiative to prevent lipoxygenase, an enzyme that creates "cardboard-like off-flavour indicative of the staling of beer."

-  Others continue to push the limits, trying to create the strongest brew by freezing the beers and aging brews in wood barrels.

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