Sustainable meat alternative from the brewery
Germany’s leading biotech startup Mushlabs will be working together with Bitburger Brewery Group, one of the most significant private brewery groups in Germany. Bitburger aims to provide capacity as well as byproducts from beer production as raw materials. Mushlabs intends to valorize and use these local by-products to cultivate edible mushroom mycelium in a highly efficient fermentation process. The mycelium will be used to produce nutrient-rich, minimally processed foods. With this unique collaboration, the two companies aim to demonstrate a possible solution to the waste of resources and thus make a contribution to the circular economy in Europe.
Hamburg, July 13, 2022. Bitburger Ventures, the venture investment arm of the Bitburger Group of Companies, invested in Mushlabs in 2019. Now the companies are launching their strategic collaboration, with the goal of rapidly developing innovative production processes that could save millions of tons of CO2.
Utilizing high-value byproducts from the local agri-food industry, and thus returning valuable nutrients to the food economy, are integral parts of Mushlabs’ strategy. The startup is one of the first biotech companies in the world to use byproducts for the fermentation of edible mushroom mycelium. In the future, the raw materials will be sourced locally and the food produced on site — in each case adapted to the individual conditions and needs of the market. This efficient use of resources makes fermentation one of the most sustainable methods of producing alternative proteins worldwide. The Bitburger Brewery Group has been working intensively on sustainability issues along the value chain for years and already recycles its residual materials to the agricultural sector. In cooperation with Mushlabs, these residual materials will be used for mycelial fermentation, among other things, in order to reduce transport distances and further improve the CO2 footprint.
Quote from Dr. Thibault Godard, CSO at Mushlabs:
“Mushlab’s technology is able to address the sustainability and supply security issues plaguing our current food system. We can utilize the full potential of natural resources by recovering the nutrients from valuable industrial food leftovers and reinjecting them back into local food economies. In doing so, we show that it is possible to simultaneously increase the efficiency, profitability, and sustainability of historical food production systems.
Quote from Jan Niewodniczanski, Managing Director Technology and Environment at Bitburger Brewery Group:
“We are always looking for ways to improve the sustainability of our production process and to explore new, innovative paths. This has been part of Bitburger’s DNA for 200 years.”
Quote from Dr. Friedrich Droste, Managing Director of Bitburger Ventures:
“Mushlabs is an excellent example of how we understand our role as Bitburger Ventures in the group of companies — through the interaction between the fermentation know-how of Mushlabs and the technical brewing know-how in the Bitburger Brewery Group, we can offer real added value. Using by-products and existing infrastructure from the brewing process to produce alternative proteins in the brewery environment is no longer a future fantasy with this cooperation, but lived practice that creates sustainable value for all parties involved and the environment.”
Mushlabs GmbH is a young biotech company based in Hamburg, Germany, producing a new generation of natural and sustainable food by fermenting edible mushroom mycelium. The start-up was founded in Berlin in 2018 by current CEO Dr. Mazen Rizk. Currently, the company is moving into its new headquarters in Hamburg and includes nearly 50 employees* from over 20 different countries. The vision: to use the power of mushrooms and biotechnology to build a sustainable food system for a growing global population.
The Bitburger Brewery Group brews and markets only premium beer and is one of Germany’s leading brewery groups. The company owns the Bitburger, König Pilsener, Königsbacher, Köstritzer, Licher and Nette brands. It also has a distribution partnership with Benediktiner Weißbräu GmbH. The brewery group is a family business and is now managed by the seventh generation.
ABOUT BITBURGER VENTURES
Bitburger Ventures was founded in 2018 with the goal of combining the growth dynamics of young, innovative startups with the financial strength and experience of the Bitburger Group of Companies. Bitburger Ventures’ investment focus is on startups that address attractive market segments through the through the use of novel, digital and sustainable concepts in the areas of food and health tech. revolutionize. Investments include waterdrop, share, Just Spices and Mushlabs.