Monday, February 4, 2013
Beer: it's not just for breakfast any more
"Beer. The cause and cure of all life's problems." Homer Simpson by Clifford F. Thies Just when you thought it couldn't get worse for cheap abundant energy, comes this story: A brewery in Alaska is going to run its factory on beer! This is almost perfect. Just as in capitalism, where "it takes money to make money," we now have "it takes beer to make beer." According to the Anchorage Daily News, the Alaska Brewing Company will be sending the residual malt and grain from its brewing process to a special broiler, where it will be burnt, helping to power the plant. They claim their beer is "beer-powered beer," perhaps implying that their beer has more beer-ness than other beers. Actually, the residual malt and grain from beer making is currently re-cycled, as almost every "by-product" of manufacturing is. The residual malt and grain is added to the feed of farm animals and pets, by giant food companies which use dietary formulae to insure that the feeds they sell meet nutritional requirements at the least cost. The problem faced by the Alaska Brewing Company was the cost of shipping its by-product to the Lower 48, making on-site re-cylcing as fuel a better alternative. Because all re-cycling that actually is economic takes place automatically, the environmentalists have to mandate uneconomic re-cylcing to increase re-cycling. For example, "post-consumer" re-cycling, where the cost of gathering together little bits of re-cyclable materials outweighs the savings in conservation. But, sacrificing oneself to save the planet is the highest form of virtue, they say. However, I don't think anyone, not even environmentalists, would want to consider "post-consumer" re-cycled beer. Editor's note - I get to choose the photos for 99% of the articles that run here at LR. As such, I've chosen my personal favorite beer for Cliff's story here. He may have another favorite. That's ok. But I just overruled him.