UBC Undergraduate Research

An investigation into the implementation of a brewpub at the new Student Union Building Chan, Samuel; Houshmand, Nazanin; Yan, Perry; Mao, Tony


The new AMS Student Union Building will include a brewpub operation that aims to be environmentally sustainable, economically feasible and socially acceptable in the context of the UBC campus. This paper performs a triple-bottom line assessment looking at possible options in achieving all three goals. In regards to environmental sustainability, this paper presents three major negative environmental impacts in the brewing process: wastewater output, waste grain byproducts and energy consumption. The paper looks at possible solutions in the treatment of wastewater, processes and partnerships to recycle the brewpub’s waste grain and possible resolutions to the problem of energy consumption. Assessment of the brewpub’s economic feasibility falls into two categories: assessment of the brewpub’s operating cost and projection of the brewpub’s likely operating revenue. In the assessment of the brewpub’s operating cost the paper discusses the cost of: initial equipment investment, periodic ingredient purchases, heat and power costs and employee salaries. Assessment of the brewpub’s operating revenue includes: pricing of beer and a brief break-even analysis. This paper assesses the brewpub’s possible social impact by discussing the health and safety in regards to alcohol consumption, the community benefits in having an on-campus brewpub and opportunities for on-campus learning. Based on this paper’s research the following recommendations arise: 1. A GEA Westfalia Separator should be used for the treatment of the brewpub’s wastewater as it offers incredible reductions in energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. 2. Waste grain byproducts of the brewing process can be fed to animals and/or used as fertilizer in the UBC Farm. The byproducts can also be used in the biofuel production process, perhaps working in conjunction with the UBC Biofuel initiative. 3. The brewpub could use biofuel to fuel the stoves heating the mash in the brewing process. Biofuels, in addition to being sustainable, also produces CO₂ offset of up to 85%. 4. The brewpub operating cost (given the proposed scope and objectives) will be: $200,000 initial investment for the brewing equipment, $14,000 annually in ingredients, $2,500 annually in energy and $375,000 annually in employee salaries. 5. The brewpub operating revenue will be $466,200 annually. The brewpub will profit after the third year with a projected 10 year net profit of $540,600. 6. By using organic ingredients in conjunction with a controlled drinking environment the brewpub could promote health and safety in the student community. 7. The brewpub could promote seasonal beers and events to relieve students of stress and in general endorse student wellness. 8. The brewpub could open its doors to students in Applied Biology and/or Chemical Engineering providing students with experience and information in working in a professional brewing environment. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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