SABMiller today announces that it has commissioned a ?3 million global brewing research facility in Nottingham, with the aim of pioneering new developments in the science of brewing. Housed within the University of Nottingham’s School of Biosciences, the Brewing Research Facility (BRF) will explore new brewing technology and processes, putting the UK at the centre of SABMiller’s global research programme. The research is intended to lead to advances in the sustainability and resource efficiency of beer production, and could contribute to the development of significant consumer benefits, such as enhanced shelf life.
Professor Katherine Smart, the University of Nottingham SABMiller Chair of Brewing Science, will also be based at the facility, where she and her team will focus on process innovation and novel uses of brewing by-products.
Graham Mackay, SABMiller CEO, said: “Whilst the recession is leading some businesses to withdraw funding into research and development, our belief is that it is more critical than ever to invest. Significant improvements in water and energy efficiency will only be achieved if we continue to commit resource and capital to driving the necessary degree of change.”
In 2008 SABMiller set an industry leading target to reduce its water use per litre of beer by 25% by 2015; and in 2009 announced that by 2020 it will reduce fossil fuel emissions from its beers by 50% per litre of beer produced.
Commenting on the new brewing research facility, SABMiller’s Group Chief Brewer, Professor Barry Axcell, explains: “The brewing process has remained largely unchanged for many years and, compared to wine, spirits and cider, has been woefully slow to innovate. The new brewing research facility has the potential to drive a quantum leap in technological and process innovation to deliver genuine competitive advantage for SABMiller.”
SABMiller in the UK
SABMiller, SABMiller’s UK operations, Miller Brands announced today that lager volumes for the year to 31 March 2011 rose by 23%. All brands in the UK portfolio recorded double digit growth, with Peroni Nastro Azzurro continuing its strong performance, growing volume 21% – in the context of a premium lager sector which grew only marginally.
Launched in 2005 Miller Brands has responsibility for the development of SABMiller’s international premium brands across the UK and Ireland; these include Peroni Nastro Azzurro, Pilsner Urquell and Miller Genuine Draft.
The research facility will be formally opened by SABMiller CEO, Graham Mackay, in a ceremony in June.