Beer Production in Bulgaria is Becoming More Environmentally Friendly
Green innovations in the brewing sector in our country help to improve the sustainable development and eco-footprint of the industry. Thanks to the modernization of breweries in the country, for the past 20 years the average water consumption for the production of hectoliter (100 liters) of finished beer has decreased by almost 5 times, from 15 to 20 hectoliters of 3 - 5 hectoliters / 1 hectoliter of beer.
As an extremely valuable resource, optimizing the use of water and energy is a leading pride for every beer maker. Compared to 2014, brewers, members of the CBS, reported a reduction in water use of 4-6% on average, with the aim of becoming more and more sustainable. Data show that for the last 4 years the average electricity consumption for the production of 1 hectoliter of beer also decreased by 8%.
At the same time, large breweries are striving for 100% biological treatment of wastewater and generally introduce the so-called " "Circular economy" with innovative "green" solutions, announced the Brewers Union in Bulgaria. Bio-anaerobic sewage treatment plants have already been put into operation, achieving over 80% of the industrial water used. Investing in anaerobic reactors also allows for the production of biogas as a byproduct that can be used as an alternative fuel to sustain the production needs of breweries.
Reducing the ecological footprint of breweries in Bulgaria was discussed during the annual General Assembly of the members of the Brewers Union. Also presented were economic data for the industry as well as the overall activity of the association.
For the year 2018, the total investment of all members of the union is 46 million leva, while for the period 2016-2018 their investments in fixed assets exceed 130 million leva. Of these, between 25-30% are geared to green projects, capacities and buildings, and to energy-efficient activities
Every year, breweries place new lightweight beer packages on the market for the sustainable management and recovery of PET bottles, glass and cans. The positive tendency to reduce the proportion of beer sales in plastic PET bottles remains. In 2018, this segment of the beer market is 53%, which means that in only three years the market share of plastic bottles has dropped and is already 10% less than in 2015. Last year, the share of glass bottles is 24%, the cans - 17% and the kegs - 6%.
According to the Customs Agency, the beer released for consumption in the country in 2018 is 5 560 000 hectoliters, which is a 1,6% increase in beer sales compared to 2017. At the same time, proceeds to the beer excise budget in 2018 are 81 million leva, which is 2% more than the excise receipts in 2017. In 2018, union members totaled 5 256 000 hl of beer, which is 2.4% more than their 2017 sales.
In 2018, the seven brewers, members of the union, broadly expanded their market portfolio with 23 new products. These include new beer styles with lower and upper fermentations, boutique offers and soft beers. This gives even broader opportunities for developing the category and meeting the very high requirements of Bulgarian consumers.
Regarding the work and achievements of the union, the branch manager of the branch organization, Ivana Radomirova, commented: "For the Union of Brewers, it was very much acknowledged that, according to an independent European survey, the reputation of the brewing industry in Bulgaria again has an impressively high approval rating . By this indicator, we are second in Europe after the Czech Republic for the third consecutive year. "The results of the survey of the international organization Reputation Institute show that 85% of beer consumers in Bulgaria are very much appreciating both breweries in the country and the beer category.
For the Brewers' Union, in 2019 the leading activities and communications will again focus on the prevention and responsible consumption of beer. A priority in the CPS agenda for this year continues to be the transparency and consumer awareness initiatives of the National Beer Academy. For the second consecutive year, it is realized with the expertise and participation of the highly educated engineers and technologists of the brewing establishments and scientists working in the research fields of dietetics, microbiology, brewing technology and product category.
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