Before you go ewwwwww OP Buildcraft, read first. Then optionally go ewwwwwwww Buildcraft.
Before Minecraft 1.7, Buildcraft was similar to IC2, being regarded as old and dying, with people calling for RWTema to add fillers to Extra Utilities so they could drop Buildcraft all together. But then they read added builders, then added robots, and suddenly it's: Buildcraft, how exciting with these new and exciting features. IC2 really needs to do this. Not necessarily add new things, but make old things actually good so more people will use them and say "yes, IC2 is useful". Things like the brewing system IC2 has.
Hops is a massive pain to cross-bread (as are the rest of the crops), so most people don't even experience the brewing system or even know it exists (at bit like crops actually). I think we need to re-think how the brewing system works in a sense that it is actually industrial, rather than just putting water, wheat and hops in a wooden barrel and hoping for the best. Making hops and even coffee (it is ignored too) spawn naturally in the world, but not cross-breedable (AKA no tech tree jumping) so that people could actually experience and use the IC2 brewing system would really add to IC2 (IMO). If there was a way to industrially monitor how the beer was doing and a way to automate it even, suddenly brewing would be a new thing. If other new brewing things were added, maybe it could be even more exciting, to make something like bio-fuel by putting plant matter in a brewing barrel (or industrial sized vat) to produce green fuel. Or a way to make lots of inefficient potions by mixing in ingredients in a batch to make maybe 20 potions at once, just all with half/quarter of the normal effect to make it balanced. And we need a cool industrial coffee machine too. And tea, discriminating Brits isn't cool.
There, my new fancy idea(s) to make IC2 cool again. It might not flow very well because I'm tired and should be in bed, but hopefully the gist should be there.
PS: And if this isn't added, maybe it could become a brewing addon. Looking at you master801 :P