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Utah’s Kiitos Brewing Uses High-Efficiency Brewing Technology

Photo Courtesy Kiitos Brewing

Salt Lake City’s Kiitos Brewing Company prioritizes sustainability, including a unique High-Efficiency Brewing  System (HEBS) platform and pH-balanced wastewater. This system uses up to 40% less water and 20% less grains than traditional brewing systems and is setting a new standard of sustainability for breweries. 

Founded by Andrew Dasenbrock in 2015, the Utah beer maker is one of only 18 craft brewers in the United States to have the system and the first in the Beehive State. The HEBS technology speeds up the brewing process, requiring less energy, water, and people power.

“When it comes to brewing, I love making beer, but it utilizes a ton of water,” David Jimenez, Kiitos’ head brewer, told The Business Download. “For every pint of beer, it takes like five glasses of water. And lots of water is lost in cleaning. But we figured out how to drop those numbers. Now we make less of a footprint, and there’s less waste going into our community.”

Jimenez, who is also the first Latin American brewer in Utah, is excited by the new method’s growing potential. He compares it to using a French press to make coffee.

Photo Courtesy Kiitos Brewing 

“We have a process called ‘the squeeze’ that saves us 20% on water and 20% less grain to make beer,” he said.

“We then recycle the water back into the tank so we can use it for another squeeze or use it for cleaning. Any water we use, we return it back to the system. It’s efficient — and not only do we get more extraction, we save water by recycling what we use.”

Kiitos takes this efficiency even further by sending spent grain to local farmers, who use it to feed livestock. Because of the HEBS technology, the spent grain has far less sugar than the traditional brewing process creates. This effort prevents fatal bloat in pigs, goats, and cattle, making the brewery’s dry grain biscuits safe to send to local farms. 

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the spent grain from the brewing process is collected and sent to the East African Refugee Goat Project farm in west Salt Lake City. There, it is mixed with feed, offering a high-protein, high-fiber meal for the farm animals.

Photo Courtesy East African Refugee Goat Project Of Utah

“It’s great to see our product used over and over,” Jimenez said. “It’s rinse and repeat.”

Additionally, Kiitos Brewery uses a three-step system that produces pH-balanced wastewater before it enters Salt Lake City’s drainage system. Kiitos also packages all its products in blue aluminum cans. According to the Aluminum Association, cans have a higher recycling rate and transport more beverages with less waste. 

To complete its commitment to sustainability, Kiitos works hard to use local products. The Salt Lake Tribune reported that more than 95% of the products used to make Kiitos beer are grown or produced within a 350-mile radius of Salt Lake City. 

Each month, the brewery creates a limited-release beer available only on-site. For each $5 pint glass sold from the “give back handle,” a local charity receives a dollar. 

Photo Courtesy Kiitos Brewing 

“The HEB system is a fascinating system to see,” Jimenez said. “Traditional brewing leaves so much behind as waste. We are extracting more sugar and getting more bang for our buck. I wish more breweries and distilleries would see it in action.”

“They would quickly realize it puts dollars in their pockets while having far less environmental impact,” he continued. “Any product we as humans create takes from the Earth, so if we can pollute less in return, it’s great. Plus, it’s big savings for businesses.”


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