The craft brewing industry has experienced tremendous growth over the last 10 years and California—particularly San Diego—has been at the forefront of this wave. Unlike large breweries, small and mid-size craft breweries do not have the resources to dedicate to optimizing energy efficiency and must dedicate limited resource to production and sales in order to survive in today’s competitive market. The brewing process is energy intensive since it requires the boiling, rapid chilling, sustained refrigeration and transport of large volumes of liquid. Yet the energy efficiency of craft breweries is not well understood. For this reason, EPRI launched a collaborative project with a number of electric utilities to assess the energy efficiency and opportunities for electrification in craft breweries across the country.
This study seeks to gather primary data on energy use in craft breweries in California to supplement EPRI’s study. Working with a local energy consultant, walk-through energy assessments were performed at 10 craft breweries in the San Diego area, representing a cross section of the industry from small brewpubs to mid-size (regional) craft breweries. These assessments were followed up with more detailed audits at 3 of the sites—one of each category: brewpub, microbrewery, and regional—where the largest electrical loads were monitored over several months of production to assess their energy use.