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The macrobrewers are expanding, too

In addition to all the new microbrewers that are sprouting up, giant international conglomerate Anheuser-Busch InBev will be spending a bunch of money to improve and expand its operations.

The local Anheuser-Busch InBev brewery is using a major capital infusion from its corporate parent to reduce water usage and boost the amount of beer it can make by half a million barrels.

Upgrades at the 45-year-old plant include the overhaul of large vessels used in brewing, improvements to the can- and bottle-filling process and a re-piping of lines used to recycle water for cooling and other purposes on-site.

AB InBev announced Tuesday that it was spending $1 billion at its domestic breweries, including $34 million at the Houston brewery and $40 million at the affiliated Longhorn Glass bottle-making facility.

Beer, TX has the press release. Among other things, this will allow the brewery here to add a couple more Bud products to its lineup. I haven’t consumed a Budweiser product since the 90s so this doesn’t really affect me, but a few million bucks into the economy is good news. Even better news is this:

AB-InBev also is spending money to reduce water consumption at the plant, which currently uses 3.5 barrels of water for every barrel of beer produced. Since not all of that winds up in beer, the plant has many opportunities for reusing water.

“We have a lot of water usages that don’t require potable water,” said resident engineer Chad Brownell, adding that multiple recycling projects are under way.

Brewmaster Dave Cohen said the company’s North American zone has a goal of reducing water usage to 3.25 barrels per barrel of beer made by the end of next year. He said such efforts are key “both for environmental and good business goals.”

I’m sure that will save them some money, and that’s all to the good. Hopefully they’ll have further goals for reduction after this one is achieved.

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