VLB Spring Conference in the Netherlands with outstanding response

The 108th Brewing & Engineering Conference of the VLB Berlin, which took place from March 13 to 15 at the MartiniPlaza Event Center in Groningen, the Netherlands, was a new highlight in the long history of this conference. A total of more than 400 trade visitors and guests attended the top-class technical program in Groningen or took part in the inauguration ceremony of Holland Malt's zero emission malting plant in Eemshaven.

The theme of this year's conference was "Brewing Industry is moving towards Net Zero - Status and Prospects". Over two days, the Royal Swinkels Family Brewers, Carlsberg New Technologies & Carlsberg Research, Heineken, the Technical University of Berlin, Grolsche Bierbrouwerij, Bitburger Braugruppe, KRONES, GEA, Pentair, Herco Wassertechnik, RWE and VLB Berlin presented concepts and experiences on this topic for discussion. "Sustainable production is not an option - it's a must" was the common denominator of many speakers. In addition, VLB's Technical and Scientific Committee (TWA) met on the first day of the event.

The highlight of the conference was the excursion from Groningen to neighboring Eemshaven on the North Sea coast. Holland Malt has operated a large four-tower malting plant there for the past 20 years. As part of its goal to drastically reduce CO2 emissions from malt production, the entire heating system for the kilns was converted from natural gas to heat pumps last year. The changeover took place during ongoing operations, with only a four-week interruption in production unavoidable. This was made possible in part by the plant's unique location on the Dutch North Sea coast. There is a large offshore wind farm upstream. There is also a main route for transporting electricity from Norway and Denmark to the Netherlands. This means that there is direct access to large quantities of green electricity. During the visit, more than 400 visitors were guided through all areas of the operational malting plant. The excursion was rounded off with an exceptional opening party on the factory premises.

VLB Managing Director Dr. Josef Fontaine was delighted: "All in all, our spring conference in Groningen/Eemshaven was certainly one of the highlights of the year for our industry, which is hard to beat. We would especially like to thank Holland Malt and the Royal Swinkels Family Brewers for their fantastic support.”