With the UK’s weather is about as much fun as sandpaper enema at the moment, close your curtains and remember how very good it...

beer.jpgWith the UK’s weather is about as much fun as sandpaper enema at the moment, close your curtains and remember how very good it was to have a pint in the sun. Greenbang can’t bring you that, but how about a way to have some sun in your pint?

One brewer in the US has put solar power to work for its brewing, says Oregon Live.

Portland’s first commercial-scale batch of solar powered beer starts brewing today at Southeast Portland’s Lucky Labrador Brewing Company. A system of insulated pipes, installed on the roof of the Lucky Lab’s SE Hawthorne location in December, draws down nearly enough energy from the sun to to fuel the first stage of the beer-making process — enough to heat up the beer-to-be to 145 degrees F, even on a recent, cold January day.

The finished product will be called “Sun Beer,” says Lucky Lab co-owner Gary Geist, and will be on tap at the brew pub starting Feb. 21. “A light, refreshing summertime ale,” Geist calls it. And no, Geist says, the solar power won’t affect the taste.

Alas, solar power isn’t up to the job of delivering a warm pint – for the second half of the brewing process, traditional energy steps in. And the system isn’t small beer – Lucky Lab has forked out $80,000 for its solar set-up but reckons it will make its money back in the long run. Phew.

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