Peroni brewer launches £3m research facility in UK

Peroni and Pilsner Urquell brewer SABMiller is investing £3 million in a new research facility which could eventually find ways of extending the shelf life of packaged beer.

Based at the University of Nottingham’s School of Biosciences, the unit will explore new brewing technology and processes, putting the UK at the centre of SABMiller’s global research programme.

It’s hoped the facility will find ways of making the company’s brewing procedures more efficient and sustainable, and also help it produce beer which will keep for longer.

Chief executive Graham Mackay 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.”

Group chief brewer  Professor Barry Axcell added: “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.”

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.