UNIVERSITY OF GHANA’S FOOD PROCESS ENGINEERING STUDENTS TOUR ABL
23rd March, 2018
What if after a few years of learning the theoretical aspect of brewing at the university lecture hall, you actually get an opportunity to observe how beer is brewed and bottled?
Well, that will be truly an exciting experience and worth any students’ time. That is what approximately 30 students of the University of Ghana’s Food Process Engineering Department experienced when they toured the plant of Accra Brewery Limited (ABL).
This is part of the company’s support towards tertiary education, which is realised through our investment in a Growing World where everyone has the opportunity to improve their livelihood.
The students’ tour began with listening to a presentation on the genesis of brewing beer as well as an engaging micro brewing session.
During the presentation, Mr. Wisdom Quashigah, ABL’s Quality Assurance Manager, shared a brief history on brewing. He informed the students that, “brewing beer was originally a domestic activity such as baking, and this dates back to the Babylonian era, then to Egypt before its spread to Europe”. He further mentioned that commercial beer brewing was carried out only by medieval monasteries. “It was not until 1857, when Louis Pasteur perfected the cultivation of yeast to enhance the beer fermentation process that brewers began to brew a variety of beers”.
Brewing Beer: A Hands-on ApproachNext, the students participated in a micro brewing session, where they learnt how barley, referred to as the ‘body and soul’ of beer, and hops (the spice of beer), are milled and mashed together with water (the purity and integrity of beer). The students learnt that the milled grains and adjuncts are boiled, fermented, filtered, and cooled to produce beer.
Packaging BeerThere are reasons why ABL’s beer is renowned due to the purchasing quality of our ingredients which is brewed under optimum conditions. Also, we package the beer under world-class conditions with state-of-the-art machinery which perfectly complements the brewing process.
After the micro brewing presentation, the student went to the packaging line for a tour by Mr. Benard Adzomadi, ABL’s Quality Specialist. The students were intrigued by the explanation of how empty bottles are unpacked, taken to a washer on a conveyor belt, washed and checked for any flaws.
Mr. Adzomadi mentioned that “the washing process is done with caustic acid, chlorine dioxide, and then sterilised water all at the preliminary stage”. The washed bottles are then conveyed to the Empty Bottle Inspector (EBI) which thoroughly inspects all bottles and rejects flawed ones.
Some of the students asked how the bottles are filled with beer. Mr. Adomadzi explained that the filler bowl receives the beer from filtration through in-laid pipes, and bottles it with a crowner which caps the filled bottles. After a series of quality checks which include fill height inspection and pasteurizing, the filled bottles are packed back into washed crates, loaded onto pallets and ready for nationwide distribution.
After a tour of the ABL packaging line, Mr. Emmanuel Nettey, a Graduate Student with the Department, shared his experience saying, “my expectation coming in was to have a first-hand view of how beer is brewed. The tour did not disappoint. I was also impressed by the clean environment and ABL’s compliance with its safety measures”.
Also, Mr. Vitus Apalangya, a lecturer with the Department marvelled at our range of beverages and was impressed by our safety measures.
Since 2007, ABL, a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s leading brewer, has supported tertiary education by offering a top-of-the-line laptop, GHc5,000.00 and an 8-week internship programme to the Best Student from the Food Process Engineering Department, of the University of Ghana. This internship is designed to enable students practise the theory aspects in order to perfect their skill. These interns have become invaluable members of the industry and contribute immensely towards improving food quality.