As the saying goes “necessity is the mother of invention” and thus it was that the necessity to reduce capital cost and minimise the environmental impact of a start-up microbrewery which led to the development of the SURF. In 2015 Malardalen Brewing Company (MBC, www.malardalenbrewing.se) was opened in Sweden which, to our knowledge, is the first microbrewery in the world to ferment beer at a commercial scale in a sanitary flexible liner that eliminated the need for post fermentation cleaning. Reducing both capital cost and carbon footprint would seem like mutually exclusive goals as more often than not there is a higher capital cost associated with enabling a lower carbon footprint. However, the SURF system achieves both goals as explained on this website.
The MBC owners, two Irish men and a Swede, Tom Casey, Kieran Blake and Jens Kempe worked together in a local biopharma facility and shared the love of all things beer and brewing. The use of plastic liners is quite common in the biopharma industry for the production of biological based medicine so further developing the concept for beer fermentation was a natural step for the three would be brewers. Initially there was no intention to commercialise and market the SURF system but visiting home brewers and other microbrewers were taken by the system and asked if they could also use it. So 4 years later following proof of concept, significant development of the system, and a patent application funded by an investor, SURF Brew Tech is now established as a supplier of the technology to the microbrewing industry worldwide. MBC produces high quality craft beers for the local market in Sweden and is now expanding output as demand increases for its very tasty beers. MBC are more than happy to show off their SURF systems and provide some tasty craft beers for “proof of the pudding” sampling in their tap house!