Fourex Beer Now Brewed With A Helping Hand From Solar Energy

Solar powered beer - Fourex

Solar powered Fourex beer – a lot of shading on those panels – perhaps it was early morning/late afternoon.

There will be a bit of sunshine in every Fourex beer thanks to a rooftop solar power system installed at the Castlemaine Perkins brewery in the Brisbane suburb of Milton.

Fourex owner Lion recently announced the $2 million project has been completed. The company says the 690-kilowatt system boasts 2,200 solar panels and will generate approximately 1,368,000 kilowatt- hours (1.368 gigawatt-hours) of clean electricity each year.

“We are committed to reducing our environmental footprint and being a good neighbour to the many residents and businesses that call Milton home,” said Lion’s Group Supply Chain Director Ian Roberts. “And we will keep the big yellow wheel in place on Milton Road just as a reminder of how far we’ve come.”

The “big yellow wheel” Mr. Roberts refers to was previously the flywheel of the facility’s refrigeration unit according to Brismania. It was installed in 1919, driven by DC power from the Brisbane tramway system until 1926 (flywheel subsequently AC powered), and in service until 1972.  An image and a little more information on the flywheel can be found here.

Mr. Roberts says the Fourex solar installation will reduce the site’s carbon emissions by about 1,260 tonnes a year, which represents approximately seven per cent of carbon dioxide emissions from electricity used at Fourex.

The Fourex brewery, which commenced operations in 1878, is a prominent landmark and was named one of the “ Q150 Icons of Queensland” in 2009.

Other Australian Brewers Harnessing The Sun’s Energy

Another large brewer to take advantage of the benefits of solar power is Carlton United Breweries (CUB). The company will be supplied with 74,000 MWh of electricity per year from Karadoc Solar Farm in Victoria through a 12-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

Australian craft brewers have also been big on installing commercial solar systems – companies include:

  • Young Henry’s, Sydney (30kW)
  • Helios Brewing, Brisbane (18.7kW)
  • Grand Ridge Brewery, Gippsland, Victoria (100kW)
  • Bright Brewery, Victoria (50kW)
  • Stomping Ground, Melbourne, Victoria  (~100kW)
  • Van Dieman Brewing, White Hills, Tasmania (48kW)
  • Beer Garden Brewing, Port Lincoln, South Australia (20kW)
  • The Australian Brewery, Sydney (capacity unknown, 277 solar panels)

You can read more about some of these companies and their installations here.

The solar powered brewing movement has also been gaining strength overseas among companies large and small.

Early this month, Canadian Solar subsidiary Recurrent Energy  announced the signing of a 15-year power purchase agreement with Anheuser-Busch  for a 222-megawatt (AC) project in West Texas. Anheuser-Busch is the largest brewer in the world and has made a global, company-wide commitment to secure 100% of all its purchased electricity from renewable sources by 2025. Carlton United Breweries is owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV.

About Michael Bloch

Michael caught the solar power bug after purchasing components to cobble together a small off-grid PV system in 2008. He's been reporting on Australian and international solar energy news ever since.


  1. Ronald Brakels says

    That particular roof faces north north west and the plants shading it in the picture are relatively recent growth and maybe they’ll cut it back. (Don’t ask me how I know so much about a brewery roof. I have no idea how that hose manged to get from their beer vat to my truck.)

  2. Michael,

    For accuracy you really should have put the word beer in quotation marks in that headline.


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