In 2010, after hiking to the top of a mountain in Utah’s Canyonlands National Park, Patrick Tatera really wanted a beer. Knowing that it’s about 95 percent water, Tatera, whose background is in chemical engineering and mathematics, started to ponder how he could dehydrate beer for easier transport and then rehydrate it when he was ready to drink it.

Tatera began experimenting and realized that a technology that could do this on a large scale could impact the entire beer industry, which is plagued by an inefficient distribution chain, according to Gary Tickle, the CEO of Sustainable Beverage Technologies, or SBT, the company Tatera went on to form.

Global transportation accounts for an estimated 20 percent of beer’s carbon footprint. Beer, wine, and other alcoholic beverages are generally shipped in climate-controlled vehicles to prevent spoiling. “There’s a lot of stainless steel, water, and air being shipped around the country and around the world by virtue of the technology that’s being used today,” Tickle says.

Tatera developed a process called BrewVo, which creates highly concentrated beer that can be transported at one-sixth the weight and volume of traditional beer. The BrewVo process is similar to traditional brewing except that the beer goes through multiple rounds of it. The final product of each brew cycle is sent through a BrewVo unit, which separates out the water and alcohol. “Everything else, all the good stuff that we typically find in the body of the beer,” such as the flavor from the hops and grain is shipped in plastic bags instead of cans, bottles, or kegs, according to Tickle.

At its destination—a bar or local brewery—it’s mixed at a ratio of one part bulk beer, six parts water, alcohol if desired, and then carbonated. It can then be sold as beer. BrewVo’s beer products are available at several bars in Denver, Colorado; the company is working to open a bar in South America, and soon will partner with Sleeping Giant, a brewer in Colorado, to scale up production.


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