The term “Algae Beer” would make any beer lover laugh and shake their head in disbelief. After all, what kind of crazy concoction has someone come up with now? Well, believe it or not, Algae Beer is actually a real thing. Not in a way you would imagine (yikes), but delicious and eco-friendly nonetheless. So let’s take a closer look at this enigmatic beverage, shall we?
What is Algae Beer?
At its core, Algae Beer is an eco-friendly alternative to traditional beer. It’s brewed using algae (hence the name, but not in the way you would imagine. Check out Do Algae Beer Contain Algae? for more info), and it’s a naturally vegan beverage. It also contains the same compounds as regular beer, including alcohol, proteins, carbohydrates, and minerals. The only difference is that Algae beer is made in an environmentally friendly way with algae as opposed to regular beer.
Does Algae Beer Contain Algae?
The answer is a resounding “No!” Instead, this beer relies on the same yeast and other ingredients as regular beer. Algae is used during beer production, but it will not be present in the final beverage. So, fear not, you won’t be chugging back any slimy green goop when drinking Algae Beer!
The Role of Algae During The Beer Production
Fermentation is a key part of the beer production process, and this is where the algae come in. According to research, a hectoliter of beer develops around 3.8 to 4.2kg of CO2 during fermentation which is essential for the beer to produce its foamy head. CO2 emission is unavoidable, and according to Young Henrys, the Australian Brewery that is working on this project, it takes about two days for a tree to absorb the CO2 emitted from one six-pack of beer.
Sure, there are new technologies, such as CO2 Capture Systems, to reduce CO2 emissions to nature (and make additional money producing liquid CO2 important for breweries), but only large-scale industries often use these because they are not affordable to home-based beer brewers.
CO2 is in no way good for the environment as it raises the global temperature, which causes polar ice caps to melt, sea levels to rise, and tropical storm systems to strengthen, among other disastrous environmental effects. So these Australian Brewers collaborated with talented scientists at the University of Technology Sydney Climate Change Cluster (C3) and worked on an affordable solution for this greenhouse effect.
How Is Algae Used During The Process?
Research suggests that algae can be used to capture CO2 emitted by greenhouse gas emissions. Algae is an incredibly efficient CO2 absorber, as one kilogram of algae can absorb 1.87 kilograms of carbon dioxide daily, as stated in this research.
The scientists and brewers worked together to develop a method that could capture and store the CO2 while still allowing the beer to be filtered out in an efficient manner. The CO2 emitted during the fermentation process is captured and transferred to a bioreactor with Algae, which then the algae absorbs the gas while continuing to grow. The algae then produce O2 and lipids, which are environmentally friendly fuel sources, as well as biomass that can be used for bioplastics and other products.
At Young Henrys Newtown brewery, a 400-liter bioreactor has been installed to generate the same amount of oxygen as an expansive one-hectare Australian forest. That’s quite an impressive feat considering the minuscule size of their brewing system! This process has enabled them to reduce their carbon emissions while creating a sustainable fuel source and other by-products.
Additional Benefits Of Algae Grown During The Process
The leftover and excess algae that are produced during the brewing process are then harvested and used as cattle feed nationwide. This means that the Brewery reduces carbon emissions and provides a sustainable and nutrient-rich alternative to traditional livestock feed production.
Furthermore, the investigations made by the team revealed that consuming these algae reduced methane production in cow stomachs, which contributes to global warming.
The Brewery’s commitment to sustainability and its interesting use of algae has created a stir in the industry, which increased the media coverage and enhanced the Brewery’s reputation in the craft beer community.
What Is Blue Algae Beer?
A common misconception is that Young Brewery’s Algae Beer is the same as the interesting ‘blue algae beer’ seen in headlines. But that is not the case! Blue algae beer is actually made from an alga named spirulina, a form of cyanobacteria known as blue-green algae. The Brewery uses an extract of this algae to add a unique flavor profile and blue hue to their beer.
Further, the specific beer is brewed by a French beer company, Etika Spirulina, where by no means affiliated with Young Brewery.
Spirulina contains antioxidants that can help protect the body from oxidative damage. Additionally, it contains proteins, Thiamin, niacin, folate, riboflavin, and Vitamins B-6, vitamins A & K.
So, although it might be a bit of a stretch to call it “healthy” as it is algae, you can at least have the pleasure of knowing that you are consuming something beneficial for your health.
Algae beer is an environmentally friendly project that every beer enthusiast should try. This project must spread around the world to reduce the carbon footprint of beer production. However, if you are not so adventurous and don’t want to try an algae beer yet, let us assure you, there is no change of taste – it still tastes like a regular beer. And, as an added bonus, you can now enjoy your beer knowing that it also helps save the planet! So, cheers to that!
Where Can I Buy Algae Beer?
You can buy algae beer by visiting the official shop of the company, Young Henrys, or you can also find it in selected grocery stores and online.
Why Is Fermentation Important In Beer?
Fermentation is important in beer because it’s a key part of the brewing process that produces alcohol and carbon dioxide. The yeast reacts with wort to produce ethanol and CO2, which gives beer its flavor and sparkling effect. In addition, fermentation helps preserve the beer and makes sure it lasts longer.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.