The family-owned brewery produces the O’Hara’s craft beer brand range, Falling Apple cider plus a range of canned and bottled private labels for international customers. To meet growing customer demand and interest in canned beer, Carlow Brewing decided to invest in a fundamentally new facility. Canning is a first for the brewery. However, no Irish contract packer could provide the required capacity.
Taking lean bottling solution in own hands
“Taking canning into our own hands is a big step for us”, recalls Seamus O’Hara, founder and CEO of Carlow Brewing Company. “We only wanted to take this step with an experienced partner. So, in addition to the technology, the track record of similar installations and an established local support, which we now have with GEA Ireland, were very important to us.” Having already installed a GEA beer separator in the past, the brewery was familiar with the technology group’s expertise in the market; and, during the BrauBeviale exhibition in Nuremberg in 2019, became aware of the GEA Visitron Filler ALL-IN-ONE which won the comparison with competing technologies. “We reviewed the available technologies intensively. The design, construction quality and reference list of the ALL-IN-ONE clearly led us to GEA."
With a capacity of 6,000 containers per hour, the ALL-IN-ONE will enable the brewery to produce a wider range of products on one highly flexible line, which will ensure beer quality, reduce beer loss, and lower water and power consumption. “We plan to use the ALL-IN-ONE to add nitrogen widgets to cans in the future”, reveals O’Hara. These nitrogen widgets activate when the can is opened, creating the coveted creamy foam. Carlow Brewing would be the first Irish craft brewer to use such a widget.
“Not only is this the first GEA VIPOLL ALL-IN-ONE line we have sold in Ireland or the UK,” commented Paul Waugh, Managing Director, GEA VIPOLL, Slovenia. “It demonstrates, once again, that no other company can provide a multipurpose filling line to match the level of design innovation on the Visitron ALL-IN-ONE. Our team of bottling experts from GEA VIPOLL and beverage specialists from GEA Ireland are pleased to further be the trusted partner for supporting the development of Carlow Brewing. We wish them every success with their new plant.” Commissioning at the brewery will take place during early 2021.