Craft beer sustainability lab (SustBeerLab)


Multiple urban locations in Scania (Skåne) county, Sweden

local partners

The following stakeholders have expressed interest in participating:

• Ohlssons (integrated waste-energy system developer)

NovoSpection (sustainability & innovation boundary organization)

• Craft brewers (Brygghuset Finn, Uncharted Brewing, Chad Beer, South Plains Brewing)

• Swedish liquor monopoly, Systembolaget

• Swedish municipalities (Malmö, Landskrona)

Sydvatten (municipal-owned water company)


Craft beer has become an important feature of urban development in recent years. It has advanced beyond its original urban counter-culture roots to influence what and how broader facets of society think about and consume food and beverages. Despite its influence on urban transformation processes, the craft beer production and consumption processes utilizes significant amounts of, amongst other things, water and energy. The movement consists largely of motivated, sustainabilityconscious societal frontrunners that could foster sustainable change, but many water and energy
saving innovations are currently not accessible to craft brewers.

In a participatory manner, the SustBeerLab urban living lab (ULL) will focus on tangible measures to increase the sustainability of craft beer production in selected urban areas in Scania, Sweden. The ULL already has momentum via its recent endorsement as a SDG Lab from Future Earth. The aim of the lab is to develop, physically implement and test novel solutions to sustainability challenges associated with craft beer production in Scania. While studying and learning from the process methodology, specific attention will be paid to how tangible actions can be scaled and transferred to other beverage production systems and other geographic areas. Within the FWE-nexus, several potential targeted solutions that integrate knowledge have been proposed, which will be explored further in a co-creative process with the stakeholders. 

These include:
• The capture and reuse of waste heat and CO2 generated during fermentation; • Implementation of water and energy     saving methods for cleaning and sterilizing tanks/ equipment;
• Innovative new uses (upcycling) of spent malts in the brewing process to new food products;
• Approaches for decreased water and energy use, and/or
• Integrated food-energy systems that move beyond only biogas.

The craft beer ULL will develop a salient, accessible knowledge base around beer produced in urban areas in the region with particular efforts on innovative practices for increasing the local and global sustainability of production system water and energy use. It will contribute with the development of concrete management strategies, processes, and capacity-building functions for the transfer and scaling of innovations and interventions in and beyond brewing between different regions.
Furthermore, it will also move beyond the sole concentration on FWE nexus, and also focus on wider issues of social and cultural inequities related to urbanization including issues of community engagement.

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