About this Challenge Team

The production, packaging, distribution and refrigeration of alcoholic beverages comprises approximately 1.5% of the UK’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions, with beer alone responsible for nearly two thirds of this total*. Despite this, efforts to improve the sustainability of the brewing industry remain limited. By carefully considering every step of the process, COBrew aim to demonstrate that it is possible to significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the consumption of beer.

After successfully brewing a small batch of carbon-neutral beer on a domestic scale, production is being scaled up to a ~1000 litre batch of English Pale Ale using the facilities of a nearby open brewery. Steps taken to make the beer carbon neutral include:

  • Selecting less energy intensive ingredients and sourcing them as locally as possible.
  • Using energy not generated by burning fossil fuels in the brewing process.
  • Packaging the product in reused beer bottles.
  • Using electric vehicles for transport and collecting ingredients where possible.
  • Offsetting any remaining unavoidable emissions.

The beer will supply the Imperial Enterprise Lab with brewing hopefully beginning in May. The project is being run by a group of students as a part of the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Partnership.

*This figure is based on the findings of a study completed in 2007. However, the size of the industry has not changed significantly since then, so emissions are assumed to have remained largely unchanged.

Team Members

Jim Marshalek (cohort 5)
Matt Barker (cohort 4)
Hollie Packman (cohort 4)
Jenny Shadrick (cohort 4)
Mohan Smith (cohort 4)
Geraldine Satre Buisson (cohort 3)
Luciana Miu (cohort 3)
Michael Ehranstein (cohort 3)
Paul Huxley (cohort 3)
Chris Ogden (cohort 3)
Rikki Gumbs (cohort 3)
Ian Walker (cohort 3)
Renato Cabral (cohort 2)

COBrew in Action