Brewery to be built at University

24 Jul 2009 00:01:00.000

PA 201/09

A fully functioning micro-brewery is to be built at The University of Nottingham. The facility will enhance its world leading teaching and research in brewing science. 


The £2 million state-of-the-art brewing research facility is being built and operated by SABMiller — one of the world’s largest brewing companies. It will be used to research new technologies for the brewing industry aimed at reducing the amount of energy required in the production process by optimising the fermentation process while maintaining beer quality.


The 1000 litre plant, located in the School of Biosciences at Sutton Bonington, will be one of the largest micro-breweries at any university in the world and is due to open its doors in 2011. The facility will be used to deliver courses to train brewers in the production of beer and deliver the University’s flagship masters degree in brewing science. It will be used by SABMiller and the University to develop and rigorously test new technologies and processes to enhance beer quality and shelf life, while improving the sustainability of brewing.

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Katherine Smart, SABMiller Professor of Brewing Science, said: “Having monitored full scale processes we have identified areas where improvements could be made.  Our research in the lab has been really exciting, but to succeed in developing new technologies it’s essential to have access to this kind of facility so that our ideas can be tested at a suitable scale. It will be just like walking into a small brewery with its stainless steel plant and its own packaging line. We will be able to develop sustainable brewing processes and beer produced at the plant can even be put through our sensory panel."


Brewing is a key contributor to the East Midlands economy which boasts some 78 small or medium sized micro-breweries and the facility will also be used to provide them with the very best facilities for training. 


The University has several current brewing research programmes including those led by Professor Katherine Smart and Professor Chris Boulton in yeast and fermentation; Associate Professor Joanne Hort, a lecturer in sensory science and a member of the University’s Flavour Research Group; and Dr David Cook a lecturer in brewing science who studies development of flavour during the malting process.


In collaboration with experts from the University’s Faculties of Science and Engineering a series of novel technologies will be developed to optimise the brewing process.


The Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Greenaway, said: “This is a very exciting development for The University of Nottingham, and further strengthens our partnership with SABMiller. The construction of a state-of-the-art brewing facility will put us in the forefront of brewing research in this country and open up unrivalled opportunities for teaching and research both from within the university and with industrial partners.”


SABMiller’s Group Chief Brewer, Professor Barry Axcell said:  “It made complete sense to build the pilot brewery alongside The University of Nottingham existing brewing facilities. We work very closely with Professor Smart and her team and this will allow for greater synergies in our research.”


— Ends —


Notes to editors

: The University of Nottingham is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 100 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and Times Higher (THE) World University Rankings.


More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to RAE 2008, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranks the University 7th in the UK by research power. In 27 subject areas, the University features in the UK Top Ten, with 14 of those in the Top Five.


The University provides innovative and top quality teaching, undertakes world-changing research, and attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations. Described by The Times as Britain's "only truly global university", it has invested continuously in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. Twice since 2003 its research and teaching academics have won Nobel Prizes. The University has won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in both 2006 (International Trade) and 2007 (Innovation — School of Pharmacy), and was named ‘Entrepreneurial University of the Year’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2008.


Nottingham was designated as a Science City in 2005 in recognition of its rich scientific heritage, industrial base and role as a leading research centre. Nottingham has since embarked on a wide range of business, property, knowledge transfer and educational initiatives ( in order to build on its growing reputation as an international centre of scientific excellence. The University of Nottingham is a partner in Nottingham: the Science City.

Story credits

More information is available from Professor Katherine Smart on +44 (0)115 9516214,
Lindsay Brooke

Lindsay Brooke - Media Relations Manager

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 951 5751 Location: University Park

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