Bundaberg Brewed Drinks has opened the doors on its multi-million-dollar Master Brewery, with Australian PM Anthony Albanese in attendance at the opening ceremony on 31 October. Beverage packaging and processing systems specialist Krones played a key role in the integrated plant delivery.
Located at Kay McDuff Drive in Bundaberg’s south, the 22,000sqm facility is more than triple the footprint of the company’s existing brewery and has been designed to enable future expansion without impacting operations. It also boasts 6000 pallet spaces in the warehouse, which the company says is a significant improvement on its previous Bargara Road site.
The state-of-the-art Master Brewery cost more than $120 million, including a $19 million grant from the Australian Government. It is Bundaberg’s biggest new development and will support the company’s domestic and export market growth by boosting production efficiency.
The company told PKN this represents the first phase of development, with multiple phases to be rolled out as needed. As it continues to grow its domestic and international business, the company confirms its packaging facility will be included in discussions around further extension.
Bundaberg Brewed Drinks partnered with a number of key stakeholders throughout the process including Hutchinson Builders, Australia’s largest privately owned construction company and another family-owned business. From an equipment perspective, it worked predominantly with Krones as the beverage systems specialist was able to provide full capacity for the outputs Bundaberg Brewed Drinks required.
With a bottling line speed of 850 bottles per minute and 51,000 bottles per hour, the brewery can produce 33,000 cases each day on a single bottling line and hold 48,000 litres of brew in a single tank – double the processing capacity of the current Ginger Beer Brewhouse.
"The Krones team have been a great help during the Master Brewery project, assisting our internal teams with great skill. Operational readiness is not a small task, and all who played a part in this project should be very proud of their achievements," a company spokesperson told PKN.
The new Master Brewery design is specific to the company's operational needs. "Our design was based on efficient manufacturing, improved workflows, improved safety around material handling and an emphasis on saving energy while allowing more efficient use of water."
The brewery supported almost 900 jobs during delivery and will further benefit local employment by helping keep production in Bundaberg.
The company said that while there would be more obvious locations that would logistically prove to be a lot easier than Bundaberg, this is a business that borrows the name of the town it calls home. "This is our home, and we are very proud to have built a facility that can support generations to come in Regional Queensland."
Bundaberg Brewed Drinks CEO John McLean said the official launch of the Master Brewery was a landmark moment for the family-owned company.
“The brewery means production of Bundaberg Brewed Drinks will remain in the town where our journey began and continue to benefit local suppliers, farmers and other direct and indirect partners,” he said.
“This is just phase one of the development, with multiple further phases to be rolled out as needed, reinforcing our commitment to investing in global infrastructure to meet customer demand long into the future.
“From humble beginnings in 1968, we have built an iconic Australian brand that now exports to more than 60 countries and the opening of our new Master Brewery means the business is future-proofed for the next generations.”
Home to the famed Bundaberg Ginger Beer, the business was co-founded by Cliff and Lee Fleming and, under the stewardship of son-in-law John, is now in its fourth generation of family involvement.
McLean said the existing Bargara Road brewery would continue to operate and remain home to the popular Bundaberg Barrel, which hosts tastings and tours.
“Bundaberg Brewed Drinks is always adapting and this project is no different,” he said.
“Across more than five decades, we have developed a unique brewing process that delivers a product that is loved by our customers and our new Master Brewery adds another layer to that rich history.”