Guinness using excess beer to feed Christmas trees
It's what plants crave
Guinness. You either love it or you loathe it, but either way, it's an incredibly popular stout. Thanks to the global pandemic, a lot of beer wasn't going to be drunk. Instead of letting it go to waste, Guinness has taken a pretty novel approach with its spare beer, and given it to something that will really appreciate it.
While other manufacturers have experimented with things like distilling spare alcohol into hand sanitiser, Guinness has decided to feed it to some Christmas trees. We love a festive story in July.
The changes in direction come as demand for effective hand wash soars.
Aidan Crowe, director of operations at Guinness' brewery at St. James's Gate in Dublin, Ireland, said to the Press Association: when all the bars shut for the sake of helping to slow the spread of COVID-19, Guinness collected all the unused keg beer back from the pub owners and decanted it. While exact numbers haven't been revealed, Crowe did state it was somewhere in the "hundreds and thousands of kegs" and that pubs in some areas are still sending Guinness surplus kegs. As Crowe himself semi-jokingly quipped, "You’d probably make me cry if I started to add it all up."
From there, the company decided to distribute the old beer, "through a number of environmentally sustainable routes... It’s an unprecedented problem for us to have, and we wanted to ensure that, in terms of how we manage that and manage the beer, it was environmentally sustainable, because that’s so critically important, not just for our business, but obviously for the country as a whole as well."
That apparently includes farms for Willow trees and Christmas trees, as well as composting it and sending it for use with "anaerobic digesters" which produce bio-gas. Why send the Guinness to these tree farms? Well, it turns out the famous stout is pretty full of the kind of nutrients plants need to grow. That's probably not really a surprise though for fans of the famously rich drink.
Thankfully, Guinness' brewery is set to ramp up production again in July after things slowed to an almost complete halt at the start of the lockdown in Ireland. The brewery's operations had been reduced to the minimal level required to keep the yeast alive, something which hadn't been done since the Easter Rising in 1916. Aidan Crowe reckons operations will be, "ramping up very, very strongly through the months of June and July." That should be good news for anyone who's getting ready for the pubs to reopen.
I don't know if the Christmas trees will appreciate their new sustenance being taken away from them though...