Blog: Chris MercerSABMiller takes a lead from Kevin Costner

Chris Mercer | 11 October 2010

SABMiller has muted the idea that breweries of the future may be built on ships.

Floating breweries are what the world may need within 30 years if SABMiller's dauntingly-titled 'Marginal Survival' scenario comes to pass. In one of several scenarios for the future of the world, SABMiller and consultancy Innovia Technology believe that breweries on boats could rapidly adapt to new markets in a climate of mass migration away from areas of fresh water shortage and extreme weather. 

"A smaller, mobile brewery would move from place to place on the back of a ship," said the brewer today (11 October).

"The example of the brewery on a ship is entirely feasible," said Innovia director Rob Wilkinson, after watching the 1995 film Waterworld starring Kevin Costner.

"It would allow for rapid entry to new markets, especially where no infrastructure is in place, it would provide flexibility in positioning and length of stay and allow SABMiller to move with water sources, with people, with crops, or even away from severe weather, natural disasters or political instability.”

More importantly, this option ensures that we can all sit back with a Peroni no matter what chaos Mother Nature manages to concoct.

In two more realistic scenarios, entitled Water Scarce and Energy Deprived, SABMiller envisages the need to reduce water use per litre of beer to just two litres. Its current average is 4.5 litres of water per litre of beer produced. The brewer also sees breweries becoming community hubs, where local farmers could use the brewery mills to process crops and biofuel could be generated to power the local area. 

Very worthy, but not as exciting as the Costner-inspired brewery flotilla.


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