Anheuser-Busch Uses Gas on Tap

ST. LOUIS—More than five billion 12-oz. servings of beer—or about one in seven beers brewed annually by Anheuser-Busch in the U.S.—are expected to be brewed using renewable fuel by the end of 2009, thanks to environmental efforts at the company's 12 U.S. breweries.

The company's breweries in Houston and Fairfield, Calif., are currently installing alternative-energy technology that is scheduled to be operational by year’s end; as a result, the company's U.S. breweries will run on more than 15% renewable fuel.

The Houston brewery will use biogas from a nearby landfill as part of an alternative-fuel plan which, when combined with the facility's bio-energy recovery system (BERS), is anticipated to provide more than 70% of the brewery's fuel needs. The Fairfield brewery will use BERS, a technology that turns brewing wastewater into fuel. The plant will collect electricity from solar panels.

Anheuser-Busch has entered into an agreement with Ameresco McCarty Energy to purchase biogas from Allied Waste Services' McCarty Road landfill in Houston, making use of an alternative-fuel source for the company's local brewery. Biogas is a natural byproduct of waste decomposition in landfills. Currently, some of the biogas from the McCarty Road landfill is being captured, processed and sold to a local utility, while the excess is flared (burned without energy recovery). Ameresco plans to capture some of the unused biogas and transport it to the Anheuser-Busch brewery via a six-mile, underground pipeline.

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