Micro-canning game changer
Cans are a cost-effective solution for upstart breweries and growing breweries. For that brewery in between, Cask Brewing Systems — the inventors of micro-canning equipment for craft brewers — has just released a pretty rad automatic canning line that dramatically expands the capabilities of Cask’s already pioneering gear. Excited? Well, get there, because the new ACS X2 features 10 CO2 pre-purge heads, 10 fill heads and two cam-driven can seamers. That’s twice the pre-purge, filling and seaming features of Cask’s popular ACS machine, which debuted in 2005 (a grand year for canning). The ACS X2 fills and seams 75-plus cans per minute and 190-plus cases per hour — a speed increase of over 100 percent from the ACS — and requires just two operators. The machine has a tiny 2-ft x 14-ft footprint and produces filled cans with extremely low dissolved oxygen levels (15 to 20 parts per billion) for optimum beer flavor and extended shelf life. For more info: Visit www.cask.com. Cost: Around $170,000, and it’s available with an array of pre- and post-fill options.
Custom chemical dispensing equipment
Cleanliness is the key to repeatable quality for craft brewers, so we suggest you sit down with the clean freaks at Zep. The company has discovered a better way to dispense cleaning and sanitation chemistry other than drum pumps. Zep will explain. These beverage cleaning experts offer the right chemistry along with the best means to dispense it through automation and custom dispensing equipment. Dispensing equipment reduces the touch points for your employees to be exposed to harsh chemicals such as caustics and acids. In addition, Zep’s high-performance products, such as FS CIP Cleaner, work so well there is no need for boosters and its local Zep Food & Beverage Safety Consultants are readily available to serve you with in-plant service visits, training on sanitation procedures and maintenance services. Need more convincing? For more info: Visit www.zepbrew.com or www.zepequipment.com. Cost: E-mail [email protected] and a local Zep rep will work with you to develop a cleaning and sanitation program.
Realize your retail execution using this mobile app
Craft brewing is a labor of love and for better or worse the ultimate barometer of success is how the end product performs in market. With the rigors of brewing, bottling, distributing and more, it is nearly impossible to visit all of the on- and off-premise locations where your brews are served to check on merchandising, displays and overall retail execution. Enter GoSpotCheck — a mobile app that empowers your internal and independent field marketing and sales reps to collect retail information, snap photos and instantly send that data back to the brewhouse. Armed with this real-time information in an easy-to-digest dashboard, breweries can quickly disseminate the data to improve the brand’s in-market presence. With instant data from the field regarding pricing, shelf placement, case counts and competitive intel, the possibilities to improve retail execution are endless. For more info: Visit www.gospotcheck.com. Cost: Price varies upon size of field team, but it starts at $62.50 per user.
Badass branding and package design
What’s special about your beer? What do you stand for? Why does your brewery matter? Whether you’re a brewery in planning or have been in the game for several years, if you can’t easily answer these questions, you need to invest in branding sometime in the near future. Whether you like it or not, the way you tell your brewery’s story, the way your packaging looks on a shelf, the way your responsive website (hopefully) works — these things are almost as important as the beer itself. On a functional level, branding is an easy way to stand out from everyone else. On a deeper level, branding is an opportunity to reach out and connect with people in a powerful way that will keep them engaged with your brewery for years. How do you even start? Well, the market and branding experts at CODO Design can help to get to the heart of your story. For more info: Visit www.cododesign.com. Cost: It will depend on the overall scope of the project.
Fans of air circulation?
Brewhouses get hot. They produce interesting odors. Basically, they need better-than-average air circulation. That’s why we suggest a setup using Hunter Industrial Titan fans. These are high-volume, low-speed fans designed to improve a brewery’s ventilation and energy efficiency. Not only is Hunter Industrial reinventing big fans for brewery warehouses, it is dedicated to delivering the lowest total cost of ownership in the business. These massive fans feature wingspans of 14 to 24 feet, so breweries can get the perfect size fan to fit their warehouse size. Hunter says its Titan Industrial Fan offers a competitive edge in terms of efficiency (CFM/watt), installation cost, weight and maintenance. And why do we trust them? Well, Hunter actually invented the first ceiling fan, so we’re giving them the benefit of the doubt. For more info: Visit industrial.hunterfan.com. Cost: TBD — this product is brand new.
Futurstic growler filler
The problem with growlers is that they only stay good for a few days. Well, we guess that’s not exactly true. You see, the Pegas CrafTap is changing that rule of thumb using pressurized growler-filling technology. It is uniquely designed to serve your customer fresh craft beer straight from the tap and, at the same time, eliminate all oxygen prior to the beer fill by pressurizing the growler with CO2. This in turn creates a better tasting growler, with little to no waste involved, and a shelf life of 30 to 45 days, where standard equipment will only see a shelf life of two to three days. In addition, the company’s Growler Station offers full digital menu services that can sync your beer list with Pegas to display your full beer menu on a TV screen in your brewery. The menu screen templates also include space for promotional advertising if desired, with all options being completely customizable and interchangeable. For more info: Visit www.gsdistributorgroup.com. Cost: Not available.
Forecasting optimizes efficiencies
You don’t need a crystal ball. It helps, but if you’re working with GP Analytics you should be covered. GP-designed software specializes in accurate forecasting for the craft beer industry. Breweries get access to a customized cloud-based portal that delivers brewing schedules, packaging schedules, shipping schedules and recommended orders for each one of their distributor partners. This is generated by GP Analytics’ proprietary forecast algorithm and decision engine, which is currently running at a 95 percent accuracy rate. We hope that’s good enough because it virtually eliminates out of stocks or excessive ordering and helps with raw materials purchasing, brewery expansion planning, meeting financial goals and finding efficiencies not realized at current brewing facilities. The system is 100 percent customized to each brewery’s floor plan, recipes and goals. It uses meta data from around the country, internal historic data and leading and lagging indicators to generate the most accurate view of each individual brewery’s world. For more info: Visit www.gp-analytics.com. Cost: Pricing includes a one-time licensing and setup fee (broken into payments that fit the financial situation each brewery is in) and a monthly maintenance and consulting fee starting at $2,500 minimum and going up depending on the complexity of the brewery.
The perfect pour requires the perfect regulator
It’s not just technique that ensures a perfect pint pour at a tap. Sometimes you need the help of technology — like the just-introduced Dispense Regulator available from Foxx Equipment Co. — which is the first truly innovative secondary regulator we’ve seen. It’s ideal for short draws, long draws and kegs in a series. It appears to provide perfectly poured beers every time. This maximizes profits by minimizing beer waste. The ITW Dispense Regulator (its technical name) greatly reduces leaks and can be leak-tested under water. It provides high precision and lasting durability and is compatible with CO2, N2, gas blends, argon, O2 and N2O. Preset output pressure is 12 psi, which can be easily adjusted to any psi from 4 to 55. It attaches directly to the gas port of any keg coupler style, dramatically decreasing installation time compared to other secondary regulators. For more info: Visit www.foxxequipment.com. Cost: $25.95 (wholesale only).
Manage pressure with the right pump
There is many a pump in the beverage market, so what are some differentiators? Let us take the ARO FDA-compliant pump as an example. Compared to the competition, it allows breweries to manage pressure more effectively to match other variables, like temperature and dissolved carbon dioxide in the beer. Designed to transfer fluid in the beverage industry, the ARO FDA pump treats every ounce of beer gently and extends its shelf life while maintaining the carefully crafted flavor of each brew. These air-operated diaphragm pumps typically yield 20 to 30 percent better flow rates than other products available on the market (says ARO), ensuring the brew is transferred carefully — a high priority for brewers who can and bottle their beer. The company’s new SD line of pumps features the quick knock down (QKD) compression clamp system to facilitate easier cleaning, service and maintenance, which promotes reliability and long product life. For more info: Visit www.arozone.com. Cost: Price is dependent on configuration, with the manufacturer’s price starting at $3,300.
This box turns wastewater back into water
Unfortunately, waste is an enormous byproduct of the brewing process — especially wastewater. Wastewater pre-treatment is an important investment for green-conscious craft breweries, reducing BOD and TSS from the waste stream leaving the brewery. That’s what makes products like the EcoVolt Mini from Cambrian Innovation so attractive. Basically, the EcoVolt Mini converts high-strength wastewater into reusable quality water in one simple container. Compressing the renowned, bio-electrically enhanced EcoVolt Reactor and the EcoVolt Membrane Bioreactor into one, the EcoVolt Mini rapidly removes over 99.9 percent of pollutants and solids for breweries generating under 15,000 to 20,000 gallons of wastewater a day. The system can be easily scaled onsite, and adding capacity without taking more space is no problem. And let’s not forget that this is a piece of equipment that can help brand your brewery as a progressive, eco-friendly corporate citizen. Make beer and save the earth at the same time. For more info: Visit www.cambrianinnovation.com. Cost: Pricing is site-specific but the average payback period is two to three years, says Cambrian.
Objective brewhouse planning
The difference is in the details and the approach — that’s how BeerBev explains its brewery planning services. This group of independent engineers, integrators and objective advisers applies a neutral and customer-centric project approach that covers the modernization and expansion of existing breweries, as well as new Greenfield breweries. The BeerBev holistic brewery planning method embraces systematic planning of production facilities, production plant, transport and logistic facilities, as well as the organization and layout, covering all areas from formulation of targets to ramp-up of production. The BeerBev team can guide you through all phases of the complex brewery planning process — choosing a location, preliminary and detailed engineering, architectural design, tender development and evaluation. BeerBev has comprehensive project management for each phase and will oversee the planning of your production including related logistics appropriate for your production flows. For more info: Visit www.beerbev.net. Cost: Prices are customized and vary based on scope.
Proprietary uncoated wet strength labels
The first thing you have to do is get their attention. That’s marketing 101, and that’s getting harder and harder in today’s craft beer marketplace. That’s why we like the “Oak Heritage” uncoated label paper being offered by Oak Printing out of Cleveland (our home town). Oak Printing is a craft beer label expert, and its Oak Heritage label paper is a proprietary uncoated wet strength sheet available in multiple shades, textures and weights to suit your label needs. Oak Heritage will give your packaging a unique look and feel to deliver that impact on the shelf and set your brand apart. Just as important is the improved productivity it will bring to your labeling line due to its outstanding run-ability. Just like most of you, Oak Printing is committed to remaining a successful family business, specializing in providing the highest quality labels. For more info: Visit www.oakprintingco.com. Cost: Oak Heritage will add about one third of a cent to the cost of your standard paper label.
Or, just let Siemens automate everything
By Ed Montgomery, Brewing Industry Manager
In today’s craft brewing marketplace, it’s important to utilize automation in order to stay competitive. The SIMATIC portfolio from Siemens allows craft breweries to automate labor-intensive tasks and interact manually with the system to create great tasting and economical craft beer time after time. As trusted partners with a long-term presence in the brewing industry, Siemens can supply solutions to suit any brewing scenario. With the fully scalable architecture of the SIMATIC portfolio, craft brewers can create the same high quality, consistent product as industrial brewers. Smaller craft brewers are able to increase supply to meet growing demands without the need for reengineering the solution from scratch. The SIMATIC portfolio contains everything from instrumentation, drives, I/O devices and process automation for control of the brewhouse and cellars, to factory automation products for control of packaging lines and ancillary equipment, and on up to a world-class MES product portfolio with complete tracking and tracing, raw material management and production management. For more info: Visit www.usa.siemens.com/brewery.