London-based craft brewer Fourpure Brewing Co. is to install the new GEA CRAFT-STAR skid mounted brewing system from GEA as part of a $2.5 million growth project that will see its production capacity increase by 400 percent to 14 million pints (eight million liters) a year. The equipment will be fully installed by the end of summer.
The Fourpure brewery, headed up by brothers Dan and Tom Lowe, has been a pioneer and innovator in the craft beer sector; last year it invested nearly $2 million on a canning and packaging line to can its entire core range of beers. This new project with GEA will allow Fourpure to make the best possible use of its current site while expanding production to meet the future demands of its retail customers. It will also allow the brewery to experiment with new recipes using the GEA equipment, laying the foundations for when the next expansion comes along, which are planned for early 2019.
Inside the upgrade
The GEA brewing technology will reduce the time it takes for Fourpure to brew each batch of beer, allowing it to improve quality control while significantly expanding production to meet demand.
The CRAFT-STAR being installed at Fourpure brewery is an off-the-shelf, four-vessel system designed for batch sizes of 40 hectoliters of hot wort and capable of producing up to seven batches a day. The system provides a cost-efficient brewing solution that does not cut back on quality-related technological features.
CRAFT-STAR will be supplied to Fourpure Brewing Co. pre-piped and pre-wired, ready-to-install. It will have been fully tested in the GEA factory in Kitzingen, Germany, prior to dispatch. Automatic control is through a combination of manual and motorized valves that control more than 80 percent of the brewing process — mashing, lautering, wort boiling and whirlpooling — operated through an easy-to-read touch panel monitor.
The base frame of the CRAFT-STAR holds all related pumps, valves and components as well as the power cabinets. Manual valves are conveniently operated from the front. Flange connections for hot and cold water, steam and condensate, and finished hot wort allow the CRAFT-STAR to be connected easily to media supplies and the wort cooler. The frame also functions as a operator platform including stairs and railing.
GEA craft beer technology supports progressive brewers like Fourpure
“It’s been a pleasure to work with Fourpure,” said John Aitken, head of beverage, food and dairy sales for GEA in the UK. “They are a very progressive and innovative company, and I know that CRAFT-STAR is exactly the right system to take the company through the next stage of its development. I am also pleased that we now have our first reference site for this technology in the UK.”
“We spoke to a number of suppliers, however the professionalism of the team and the capabilities of the CRAFT-STAR system, ultimately made working with GEA an easy decision,” said Dan Lowe, founder of Fourpure Brewing Co. “We’re looking forward to a long standing, collaborative relationship.” First brew with its now brewhouse is scheduled for the middle of September 2017.
Fourpure, started in 2013, currently produces an impressive range of beers including their flagship Pils Lager, APA and Session IPA. Core seasonal specials include Citrus and West Coast IPA’s, a Red Ale and Red Rye and a Craft Lager. In 2017 it won the SIBA (Society of Independent Brewer) award for the UK’s Most Innovative and Best Brewery Business.