Ever since Kirk Zembal co-founded Blindman Brewing seven years ago, he’s wanted a way to reuse the carbon his product produces — especially since his product also uses carbon, too. “We were producing pure CO2, and then we purchased pure CO2 to carbonate the beer. So it’s an elegant solution to close the circle.”
The circle closes with a machine from the United States that captures the CO2 produced by the fermentation process. It then compresses the CO2 and uses it to purge tanks, carbonate beer and run canning lines. Blindman, located in Lacombe, is the first Canadian brewery to use it, and with the help of Olds College and Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute, it will take Blindman’s CO2 emissions to near zero and show other breweries how to do the same.
“This is all baked into the ethos of craft brewing, to try to reduce our impact wherever we can. There are always risks with new technologies. But we’re not a multi-billion-dollar project. We have a small, tight, confined project, and that’s where you can have some wins. This machine should pay for itself in two years. And if I get a thousand of my brewery buddies all doing the same thing in Canada, then we’re making a big impact.”
This article appears in the May 2022 issue of Edify