The other alternative is to take the beer to the filler instead. That’s what a local brewery here does: the storage tanks (about 50 hectolitres) are loaded onto a flatbed, and taken to a larger brewery for bottling. Considering that this is Munich, the larger brewery can do this in a couple of hours, and that includes the time taken to swap the labels and caps in the machine.
Skunking is something I never encountered in Germany, probably because the beer is always fresh, the fact that Munich is at the same latitude as Winnipeg means the angle of the sun and so on. Another factor that seems to be important as to why cans never replaced bottles here is that most people still prefer local, meaning the bottles are returned, washed, and refilled. Longer distances would make this actually more wasteful due to transportation, but in Germany it’s cheaper in the long run.
One neat thing I found out about the bottle filling machines at the brewery where I worked was how after filling, each bottle received a shot of hot water to make it foam up just before the cap went on. This little trick ensures that no ambient air is in the bottle, the air at the top is just escaped CO2.
The moment they stop artisanally hand-pouring/siphoning beer into individual glass bottles from small demi-johns, and manually capping the bottles one by one, while wearing leather aprons, they cease to be a “craft” brewery. /s
I’ve seen a major brewery canning line. It could bury them in cans in minutes.
It takes cans off palettes, open end down, zips them through a spinning filler that’s doing many cans at the same time, sprays the can with high pressure water and air, turns the open end up, fills it and caps it really really fast.
Stories by people claiming to find a mouse in a beer can always made me laugh. (Ninja mouse with suction pads?)
Good old stubby bottles! They could last for years of use, and all the breweries used the same bottle. (The caustic soda that they used to clean the labels off and sterilize them was pretty brutal.)
The moment they stop serving it directly to customers and packaging it in anything other than customer-owned growlers, that’s when they cease to be a craft brewery and become a factory.
That’s a surprising amount of beer being wasted during capping. Or is all that spillage pooled up and dumped back into the tank?
Picks and shovels.
I don’t know that they’re “doing great” so much as just launched that.
Handling a fair bit of packaged beer for work. That package will be a disaster. I really don’t see how it’s going to hold up to the rigors of shipping without being too strong a glue for people to separate the cans.
And they haven’t released it in most places. There are already piles of damaged and loose Carlsberg cans waiting to be returned in the back of every store in my area. They’re loosing a lot of money to damage as it is. Just think they’re too big, and the product too cheap for them to care.
The once it’s spilled it contaminated, and can’t be packaged. Wouldn’t stay fresh very long.
Smaller more affordable filling equipment tends to messier. It’s part of why
I guess it must be very very affordable if it comes with 5% spoilage rates and is still the cheaper option.
The cans are cheaper, I believe the machinery is more expensive.
But the savings in shipping, storage, and spoilage are massive. There’s a $10/case price difference at wholesale for my companies top selling craft product in bottles vs cans. $23 for cans, $33 for bottles.
Waste and expense of buying in is a big part of what sees smaller, newer breweries going with bottles over cans. As well as it being easier to source small numbers of bottles with seperate labels over printed cans. But like I said bottles become a problem for sales when you start distributing outside your home market. And a lot of places hit an “oh shit” moment as they expand. Where they can’t afford to add or switch to canning, but they can no longer expand sales with the bottles. Which prevents them from getting the money to switch. So your much better off buying into cans to start if you can afford it, you get over that bump faster and upgrade to cleaner machines.
It’s why the mobile canners are cropping up. And it’s a big way consolidated beer gets a toe hold to take places over. They got excess canning capacity out the wazoo.
I ran one of these lines. It’s a Wild Goose 4-head. Most of what’s getting pushed out is foam, which is mostly CO2. From canning a 15-bbl batch of beer (about 450 gallons), we lost 10-15 gallons at most. 2-3% loss is more than zero, but very livable. It depends on how well you dial in the canner. I heard horror stories about mobile canning, where you hook up your tanks to a truck with a canner on it, of loss rates of 15-25%. Makes the money you spend on your own canner not hurt so much.
Edit: And cans are better, in almost every way. The money you save on shipping weight and space savings, and the increase in packaged beer quality, more than make up for the startup costs.
cue the Moulin Rouge dancers…
I’ve seen more waste in a growler fill.
Yeah I think people lock in on a lower cost to the cans themselves. But particularly in craft where premium packaging can be justified and preferred that’s actually a minor concern.
But those shipping savings are kind of nuts. Even just on space you can get 3x as many cases of 12oz cans on a truck. Which means fewer trucks, and running trucks is crazy balls expensive.
i cannot watch the canning video? without hearing the theme song from Laverne & Shirley…
Hoping it was 3D printed!
It looks like some beer or froth spills over each can. Then they go into a covered space, I assume to get the lids crimped on. How do they clean the cans? Or don’t they bother
love the artisanal solenoids.