A veritable cornucopia of brewer’s supplies and services were spread around the sold-out exhibition floor at the recent California Craft Beer Summit 2023, in Sacramento. From new flavors to new equipment and more, the wealth of offerings inspired new and better brewing among the 1,100 attendees.
Organized by the California Craft Brewing Association, the summit was the first in four years, so much had been saved up for display. The following is a random sighting of what was new, more relevant or more appealing than before:
Isuzu Craft Beer Truck
Perhaps the most visited booth at the summit was the Isuzu craft beer truck, sporting eight beer taps, which of course flowed non-stop during the show. With a Thermo King refrigerator, 215 horse engine and a 16 foot Kold-King reefer body, the truck was begging to roll for a street fair. The company offers self-financed 5-year leases for the truck, which carries a price tag somewhere in the $140,000 range, noted Matt Gant, the western district sales manager for Isuzu.
Pneumatic Scale Angelus Rotary Canning
Serious rotary canning was a major play at the summit, including the CB100C line from Stow, OH-based Pneumatic Scale Angelus. This line is rated for 100 cans per minute, including beer, cider, seltzer and carbonated soft drinks, according to Mark Saylor, a sales executive for the company. The rotary motion keeps the movement of the cans fluid as speed increases, while limiting agitation for best quality assurance. Learn more in this walkaround video from last year’s CBC.
Aseptic Fruit Purees Curuba (Banana Passionfruit)
One of the more colorful stands at the show was the array of fruit flavors available from Aseptic Fruit Purees, of Alpharetta, GA. The latest new fruit, from the cloud forests of Colombia, is the Curuba, or Banana Passionfruit, which the company is offering in 44 lb bags for less than $2 a pound, according to Nick Burgoyne, a sales specialist for the company. Available from multiple warehouses in staged sizes up to 440 lb in a steel drum, they offer 26 ready-to-mix purees that can tweak up flavor in beers and seltzers.
BrewWizz Carbonation Management
BrewWizz, of Lockeport, Nova Scotia, displayed its latest BrewWizz carbonator, a lunchbox-sized machine that helps solve all of a small brewer’s carbonation concerns — so says founder Guy Tipton. With multiple friendly smart device views of processes and conditions, the BrewWizz was designed and built to permit every component to be replaced by the brewer.
DigiCan Printing Services
The latest movement in the art world is the decoration of craft brewing cans, without a doubt. Present to help brewers execute their art was DigiCan Printing, of Saint Charles, MO., which introduced the first high-speed digital can printer in the United States, according to Brian Casola, a national sales rep for the company. While a magazine might need a 300 dpi resolution image to print a full page in color, DigiCan can produce can art of up to 1,200 dpi, even at small order levels. The company prints in four locations around the country.
Wild Goose Canning Solutions
Wild Goose Filling, of Louisville, Colo., showed off its Gosling can filling unit, designed as an entry-level canner for up to 720 cans per hour, using the QuickChange feature to adapt to multiple can heights. With 11 larger, more sophisticated models to follow a brewery in its growth trajectory, this one would fit into a coat closet. With the scaleability to process only a few cans at once, you can “turn R&D projects into viable projects,” reckons Mario Guerra, a regional sales manager for Wild Goose. Check out this walk-around video from last year’s CBC.
G4 Kegs Supply and Management Services
Keeping kegs clean and ready to fill can be as challenging as getting the full ones to market. G4 Kegs, based in Tualatin, Ore., showed off its kegs and software at the summit, serving the smallest to the largest craft breweries, according to Jason Ley, keg consultant and marketing manager for the company. G4 Keg’s leasing-to-own program offers smaller brewers an opportunity to bank equity on the kegs it uses until buyout time arrives. G4 also services and repairs what they roll.
County Malt Canadian Pilsen Malt
There were lots of organic materials providers at the show offering new flavors, tastes and nuances in recipes for craft beer, but only one reckoned (at least to me) that he could save a brewery 35% to 40% on its import shipping costs for European malt. That was Jon Mendrick, the Western Division sales manager for the Gig Harbor, Wash.-based Country Malt Group. They unveiled its new Euro Style Pilsen malt from Canada at the show, which closely matches the products coming from France, Belgium, Germany and Australia that lead global trade in malt.
Next Glass Ollie Order Software
Ollie Order, a software component of the Ollie suite, was on display at the show, offering help with brewery inventory management, sales CRM, wholesale operations management, and payment processing, notes Jack Hamrick, a brewery sales rep for Charlotte-based parent company Next Glass. Of course, the Ollie Order solution dovetails with Ollie Ops, which provides raw materials tracking and forecasting, recipe management, task scheduling, and TTB reporting.
Live Oak Bank SBA Lending
No brewers conference is complete without noting the folks willing to lend money to startup breweries. Filling that bill is Live Oak Bank, based in Wilmington, NC, but with many regional offices, including Santa Rosa, CA, the office of Vice President Tracy Sheppard, who manned their booth at the summit. Live Oak is now the second largest on-lender for the Small Business Administration’s main lending line.
Alpha Brewing Operations’ Uber Equipment Line
When it comes to stainless steel, there may be no more comprehensive source of brewing and canning product lines than Alpha Brewing Operations, based in Lincoln, Neb. The company provides complete brewing equipment packages ranging from semi-automatic to fully auto. The custom brew houses range in volume scale from 3 bbl to 50 bbl, enabling startup to mid size breweries to engage in the fine art of brewing. Here are some Alpha machines in action.
The 5th Ingredient says
Great event!! 👏👏