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From the traditional vat to the high-tech brewery
This year something very special is brewing: 2016 marks the 500th jubilee of the world's oldest food law. In 1516, the Bavarian co-rulers Duke Wilhelm IV and Ludwig X issued a decree in Ingolstadt to the effect that henceforth, only barley, hops and water could be used in the brewing of beer. The "Reinheitsgebot" was born, and its fame has since spread around the world. German beer is one of the country's most popular exports, with around 1.5 billion liters shipped to foreign shores every year. A high proportion of brewers rely on technology from Siemens to prevent any disruptions to production and keep the golden liquid flowing freely. The first electronic control-based automation solutions came into existence in the 1970s. The "Braumat" process control system has since taken care of reliable production and quality consistency in countless breweries the world over. Today, competition for market share in the beer industry is tough. Efficiency and flexibility are vital to success. What remains to be seen: What will the brewery of the future look like? From July 22-24, Siemens is taking part in the "500 Years of the German Purity Law 2016" Festival in Munich as a partner to the brewery industry with its own booth.

Press Pictures

"500 Years of the German Purity Law 2016" Festival: Siemens serves its own beer

Winner of the employee label design campaign

From the traditional vat to the high-tech brewery

Traditionally, beer was simply brewed locally using age-old hand crafting methods. Today, the use of wooden vats and open fires has become practically obsolete. Modern breweries make use of high-tech plants which will provide the assurance of a consistently high standard of quality.

The digital world of tomorrow's brewery

Another key aid to the brewery industry is RFID: Radio-frequency identification is the name given to a technology involving transmitter-receiver systems for the automatic identification and localization of objects using radio waves. An RFID system comprises a tag or label attached to an object which contains an identification code, and a reading device to scan the data. "This technology makes the entire production and supply chain visible, allowing material flows to be monitored. This means the operator will know precisely which bottle and which label is where at any given moment in time. The brewery is able to plan efficiently and precisely control its processes," explains Walden, responsible for the Food&Beverage area at Siemens.

Automation for a cutting edge

This automation process allows a number of areas such as the brew house, cellar, filtration or energy generation to be simultaneously managed and visualized. All the processes used in the production of beer appear on a modern graphic user interface, allowing the brewer to conveniently monitor and control valves, pumps, measured values or controllers. Any faults can be quickly localized and remedied. The system focuses on efficient and effective recipe control.

Munich girls in heaven

In the 18th century, many young mothers from Munich drank up to seven glasses of beer a day, according to contemporary sources. They thought this was the only way of nursing their infants.

Origin of the ale-bench

Czech beer used to be subjected to a very unique quality test to prove its strength in the town hall in Pilsen. A puddle was poured on a special bench, in which the brewer had to sit until his pants had soaked up every drop. If his pants failed to stick to the bench when he stood up, the beer was deemed to be too weak and incurred a punishment of blows with a stick for the brewer.


Beer production 2016

In the modern high-tech brewery, everything is digitally linked through interfaces to production control systems. Quality data is automatically captured and work sequences defined by modules. Siemens supports the craft of beer brewing worldwide with its automation and control technology, thus ensuring efficiency, quality and flexibility.

Historical Pictures

"Braumat": Brewery and automation

Siemens automation systems based on controllers have been in existence since 1973. The first PLC (programmable logic controller)-based, recipe-controlled automation system for breweries was successfully introduced in 1983 and marketed under the name "Braumat".

Breweries go electric

Siemens-Schuckertwerke equipped the two-vessel brew houses operated by the Thomas Brewery in Munich with suitable incandescent lighting and electrical drives in 1910.

The serving counter of the Schultheiss Union Brewery in Berlin-Hasenheide

In 1913, Siemens-Schuckertwerke provided the electric lighting system for the serving counter of the Schultheiss Union Brewery in Berlin-Hasenheide.

Berliner Kindl Brewery in Neukölln

The picture shows a transformer with switch panel and ventilation system installed in the Berliner Kindl Brewery in Neukölln in the 1920s.

Löwenbräu Munich

The Löwenbrau Brewery in Munich was also equipped by Siemens: with a control platform in 1965. Initially restricted to a few components such as electric motors, the Siemens technology used to energize the flow of beer rapidly became more sophisticated.

Further Information


Ines Giovannini

Digital Industries

+49 (911) 895-7946

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