To work around COVID-19 travel restrictions for its installation staff — at a time when packaged beer is especially vital to brewers — Cask Global Canning Solutions recently launched a new “virtual” installation system for its new customers. To successfully conduct the first five virtual installations, Cask put together a team of three installers who delivered live video-chat help and five behind-the-scenes staffers who built an online portal of training videos and other comprehensive resources.
Dead Frog Brewery in British Columbia, Canada, was among the first breweries to use the system, when it commissioned its new Cask Automated System V5. The effort took place in six hours of time over two days. Longtime Cask installer Terry Farrell headed up the virtual effort from the safety of his home in Canada, while incorporating video and other information from the online portal.
“The virtual install and training were perfect for us,” said Dan Braaten, Dead Frog production manager. “We were up and running smoothly in just a couple days and the canning line is amazing.”
Cole Smith, Dead Frog’s head brewer, agreed. “The virtual system Cask set up because of the COVID situation is great, and Terry was awesome and a wealth of knowledge.”
The virtual commissioning enabled these breweries to get beer into cans at a time when packaged beer sales are often a brewery’s only source of revenue due to the pandemic.
“More than ever,” said Dawn Lutz, Cask’s director of customer success, “our customers need to get their products in cans and out to their customers. So we’ve adapted our service model to make that happen.”
The virtual team spent two weeks preparing for these installations. “There were some long days and some late nights,” Lutz said, “and it’s been a digital construction zone here for a couple weeks, but we pulled it all together.”
Cask’s new virtual program will be used for more upcoming installations. When travel and social distancing restrictions end, Cask will conduct follow-up visits on-site with each of these virtual customers. While this new-tech effort has been crucial help for new Cask customers during the COVID-19 situation, it has also been a plus for Cask’s Customer Success Team.
“We’ve really been inspired,” Lutz said, “by how consumers have rallied behind their favorite breweries and how brewers have dug in and found creative ways to get through this. That’s been a big motivation for us to do whatever we can to help craft brewers during these turbulent times.”
Dead Frog’s team is happy for that help. “We’re run the machine every day since the install,” Smith said, “and it runs like a dream.”
This year Cask — the inventors of micro-canning for craft brewers — is celebrating 20 years of its revolutionizing of craft beverage packaging around the world.
Marty Jones is longtime evangelist, publicist and status quo smasher for craft beer. His creative ideas, promo efforts and questionable jokes have played a key role in the success of some of the top beer endeavors in Colorado and the United States. Learn about his beery efforts at www.martyjones.com.