Rapid growth at a three-year-old craft brewery has prompted a significant canning line upgrade with Fibre King supplying the hardware and integration expertise.
Australia’s favourite craft beer – as voted by Gabs Hottest 100 beers for both 2018 and 2017 – Balter Brewing Co, has undergone a revamp of its facility for one good reason: people can’t get enough of its brews.This young company has experienced rapid growth since its foundation in March three years ago by a bunch of Queensland surfers, including Mick Fanning.
To keep up with its thirsty patrons, Balter’s Currumbin-based facility has undergone massive reconstruction, to transform it from an 1100 square metre facility to around 3300 square metres, which included raising the roof from six to ten metres in height. The brewery transformation has created the space necessary for a new canning line, and four new 30,000-litre tanks. With the help of Fibre King’s packaging equipment and integration the Balter canning line is now running like a beer drinker’s dream.
As a result of its impressive growth Balter Brewing was faced with completely refurbishing its premises, and significantly increasing its production, while maintaining the personal touch that goes into every carton of cans.
The company had specific requirements in the execution of this project. The equipment needed to be functional and reliable, as well as being aesthetically pleasing as the production facility is an extremely important part of the Balter brand.
Fibre King – having previous experience with other craft breweries such as Stone and Wood – was awarded the project, and set to work designing a canning line that was compact and efficient. Fibre King worked closely with the Balter team to incorporate its output requirements. The final solution had to be delivered and installed while maintaining a specified level of production through the facility.
Consideration was also given to using some existing equipment, replacing and retrofitting upgrades with minimal impact on throughput. The final piece of the puzzle, a new automatic can de-palletiser was commissioned at the end of January, enabling a significant increase in production.
Once the project is complete Fibre King will have supplied, installed and commissioned the following equipment into Balter’s facility: empty can de-palletiser, empty can conveyors, full can conveyors, case packer, case conveyors, and case palletiser. Fibre King was also tasked with integrating and assisting in the run-up of the can rinser, can coder, can filler, can inspection, cluster packer, and case coding.
“This has been an exciting project to be a part of,” says James Windsor, CEO of Fibre King. “As a customer and novice surfer myself, I have enjoyed working with the Balter team to deliver a solution that meets its production needs. It has also been a great opportunity to showcase Fibre King’s range of equipment within the popular facility. If you are in the Gold Coast, do yourself a favour and book in a brewery tour to see this impressive facility,” he says.
Aaron Waters, operations manager of Balter Brewing, says, “Since the launch of Balter three years ago we have been faced with rapid growth, exceeding our expectations. Along with this comes challenges to keep up with demand. With this in mind and from our learnings, we set out to build for the future and not just for the coming years.
“We went from 1.5 million litres to 2.75 million litres in our first two years, and this was an indication to us we needed to look towards a 20-million-litre facility. It has been nothing but a success and only recently completing the project we are now on our way and capable to put a handle on the growth at the turn of a dime, thanks to the workmanship and support of the Fibre King team.”