One of the problems that I encountered when reading about the convoy of beer fermentation tanks that have received so much publicity lately is that they don’t come across on a human scale. It’s hard to imagine a kilometer long convoy of vehicles necessitating the combined efforts of police services, public utility companies and a fleet of trucks from Challenger Motor Freight. For this reason St.John’s Wort is pleased to provide you with a loose guide to help you picture the exact dimensions and potential importance of such an influx of brewing volume.
According to the Toronto Star, the tanks can hold 5.86 million bottles of beer. According to City TV’s website, they can hold 1.4 million bottles a piece (for a total of 8.4 million bottles). Such a discrepancy is worrying. I mean, 2.54 million bottles of beer are missing. I think we should be on the lookout for a moustachioed man in a black Trans-Am and a trucker with a dog named Fred.
Let’s assume, though, that the Toronto Star has the figure right. 5.86 million bottles of beer (assuming that the bottles are 355 ml) translates to roughly 2,080,300,000 mililitres of beer, which is 2,080,300 litres of beer or 4,160,600 pints. That translates to roughly 346,717 litres or 693,434 pints of beer per fermenter.
Assuming, for legal reasons, that you don’t actually drink anything prior to your nineteenth birthday and that you lived until 70, you would have 18,615 nights where it would be possible for you to drink beer. Given that a reasonable night down at the pub might see you drink four pints of beer, you would within that time consume 74,460 pints of beer. In order to finish the volume of beer within the fermenter there would either need to be 9.31 of you (out of the question with current cloning technology and besides, what would you talk about?) or you would need to live 494 years. I suppose you could just find 8.31 friends to help you, but what if Verne Troyer is unavailable? Regardless, you’re going to want to lay in plenty of pedialyte and advil.
This is not a challenge that I recommend undertaking. After all, a pint of 5% beer typically contains about 250 calories. A fermenter therefore holds 173,358,500 calories of beer. No registered dietitian would take you on as a client. Also, it’s probably going to be filled with Molson Canadian… so, y’know.
In terms of sheer volume 346,717 litres of beer is 346.717 cubic meters of volume. My apartment in midtown Toronto is 450 square feet and has ceilings which are 7.75 feet high. The volume of space within my apartment is 98.75 cubic meters. This means that you could fit 3.5 of my apartment into one of these fermenters with enough space left over for a brand new chaise longue.
Interestingly (if you want to take wikipedia’s word for it) Canada consumes 2,183,000,000 litres of beer annually. You would need to fill these tanks 1049 times in order to reach that amount.
According to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in the United States, if you wanted to keep two Killer Whales in captivity you would need to provide a tank capable of holding 615 cubic meters. Theoretically, you would need 1.77 fermenters worth of beer in order to do that. I think it would probably be a bad idea to fill the Killer Whale tanks with beer, though. After several hours they would get maudlin and try to start fistfights with each other, which would be unsatisfying given that you can’t really make a fist with a pectoral fin. Additionally, given that their diet consists of 227 kilograms of fish daily, they might think that an average serving of bar peanuts is a little skimpy. Eventually, their whale song would start to sound like “Louie, Louie.”
According to the St.John’s Wort Expensive Liquids Equivalence Chart Molson Canadian costs approximately 0.0056 cents per milliliter. This means that the total street value of the beer that these fermenters would hold would be $11,649,680.00, which is approximately enough money to get David Beckham out of bed. If, on the other hand, you were to fill just one of the fermenters with Sam Adams Utopias, it would cost you $53,047,701.00
Interestingly, the entirety of the transport operation for the convoy was slated to cost $24,000,000. This means that the tanks will pay for their own transport from Burgstadt, Germany within two brew runs.