Castlemaine Perkins, brewers of the (in)famous XXXX (pronounced “four-ex”) beer announced last week that it had completed a $2 million project to install solar panels on its Milton, Brisbane brewery.
XXXX beer – known the world over – is, if not an Australian favourite, at least an Australian brewing icon, with Queensland origins that date back to 1878.
According to Lion, the parent company, XXXX Gold is still “Australia’s number 1 beer” thanks to a 3.5 per cent alcoholic content “that’s big on taste, and we think best matched with big blue skies, sun-drenched days, good chats and great mates!”
That’s certainly one point of view… Regardless of your taste in beers, though, Lion can be praised for recent efforts to improve its brewery over the past decade.
Already the company has spent over $5 million on such innovations as “a state-of-the-art reverse osmosis plant which reuses waste water – enabling XXXX Gold to be produced at a ratio of 2.8 litres of water for every litre of beer produced, which is approaching world-leading levels of efficiency for brewing,” explained Lion’s Group Supply Chain Director Ian Roberts.
Announced last week, a further improvement is the installation of a $2 million solar panel installation atop the 140-year-old Milton brewery. Made up of 2,200 solar panels, the 690kW will generate approximately 1,368,000 kilowatt hours every year – the equivalent electricity consumed by 150 large Brisbane homes annually.
“This will reduce the site’s annual carbon emissions by about 1260 tonnes, which is about seven per cent of CO2 emissions from electricity used at XXXX,” said Roberts.
“We are committed to reducing our environmental footprint and being a good neighbour to the many residents and businesses that call Milton home.
“And we will keep the big yellow wheel in place on Milton Road just as a reminder of how far we’ve come. It is change like this that has allowed us to preserve the brewery’s rich history and keep making Queensland’s favourite beer. This is something everyone at XXXX is very proud of.”
As we have reported on One Step, the shift to solar by beer makers is officially “a thing,” with companies from global giant Anheuser-Busch InBev, to boutique brewers all around Australia, making the switch to renewables.
Click here to go on a tour of Australia’s solar powered craft brewers. Or read about CUB’s shift to 100 per cent renewables here.