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Brewing Technology: An Old Art Looks Forward

By Scott Jenkins |

Research and development in the brewing industry is peaking, driven by efforts to improve quality, efficiency and sustainability Within the chemical process industries (CPI), the brewing industry is among the sectors with the deepest historical roots and the most entrenched traditions. While modern brewers are by no means turning their backs on traditional beer making (see box, p. 16), they are increasingly looking forward, relying on advanced science and engineering in never-before-seen ways. “Research and development in brewing may be peaking now, after a period of decline in the 2000s,” says Kevin Verstrepen, director of the the Leuven Institute for Beer Research (LIBR) at Leuven University (KU Leuven; Belgium; www.libr.be) and professor at the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology (VIB; Ghent, Belgium; www.vib.be). Technology advancements are allowing brewers of all sizes to pursue improved efficiency and sustainability and find ways to differentiate their products in a crowded and competitive marketplace. “There is a lot of pressure on brewers to keep coming up with new products with different taste characteristics, and also a large push to reduce resource use, such as water and energy, in the brewing process,” says…
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