Reaching the point of canning product at scale is an incredible accomplishment for any brewery. This typically means that the product has been well-received by the consumer base, so much in fact, that they are looking to start distributing to local grocery stores and bars. It is just about every brewer’s dream to start seeing their products outside the walls of their own brewery and taproom. That is why when it comes to canning products, brewers need to be able to can with confidence.
In this article, we will be covering the different popular methods of canning products, the benefits and “What Ifs” of some, and will explain why at ProBrew, we only provide our partner breweries with rotary can fillers.
First off, why can your product?
Not planning on canning product could lead to missing improved product quality, flexibility, and savings on the bottom line. Firstly, there is an extremely low dissolved oxygen (DO) pickup when canning. For example, with ProBrew’s can fillers, we typically see less than 30 PPB (parts per billion) of DO pickup in this category. This leads to a product that stays fresher for longer and resists outside contaminants due to the aluminum. Next, canning beer allows for more flexibility in production output, product size with the change of a 12 ounce, 16 ounce, or a 19.2 ounce can and allows for quick changeover between fills. Lastly, beer cans today are 30% lighter than they were 25 years ago. This means that less fuel is used to ship filled or empty cans, saving your brewery money at the bottom line.
Mobile Can Filling
Let’s dive into the methods of can filling, starting with mobile can filling.
First up, some benefits:
- No need to buy your own equipment
- Little impact on building footprint
- Low initial cost
Not needing to invest in machinery sounds appealing to brewers at the start of their canning journey. However, there are some severe “What Ifs” when it comes to this method.
What Ifs of Mobile Canning:
- What If the fees to can my beer start piling up?
Mobile canners charge a variety of fees for using their equipment to can beer and in a way, it is like the brewery is paying rent to can their own product. These fees typically range from $3.00 to $4.80 per case. For example, if a brewery is producting 3,000 BBL into canned product, they will end up paying around $100,000/year in fees. That same amount of money could be used to make a down payment on your own customized equipment.
- What If I need to ramp up production?
Production output from a mobile canner typically does not meet the requirements of a growing brand. When compared to other options such as the ProBrew ProFill Can filling series that cans product from 100-600 cans per minute, mobile canning limits potential product output.
- What If I need to can my product NOW?
Mobile canning can lead to low control of your own production schedule. Flexibility is key in today’s market, and unfortunately mobile canning does not provide that.
Mobile can filling has a place in the industry and can be a viable option for starting to can your product. However, breweries reaching this point cannot have the corresponding What Ifs that are attached to it.
Inline Can Filling
Next popular option of can filling is known as “inline”. If you are unfamiliar with this method, essentially the cans move into position, in a straight line, stop to get filled, and move onto the seamer and down the line.
As we did with mobile filling, we will start with the benefits:
- Inline filling means brewers get to own equipment, but at a higher cost compared to mobile filling
- Fill and seam your product at an average and consistent pace
Inline can fillers provide an upgrade in convenience and consistency when compared to mobile can filling. They allow you to have equipment on hand and provide that necessary flexibility. However, we need to examine the What Ifs with this can filling method.
What Ifs of Inline Can Filling
- What If my product starts hitting low quality numbers?
The constant stopping and starting of a can on an inline filler leads to increased product agitation, higher product waste, and increased potential for dissolved oxygen pickup when compared to a rotary can filler.
- What If I need to ramp up production?
This same What If applies to inline can filling due to the limitations of the machine design. Since the can must physically stop to get filled and then seamed, production outputs are typically capped at 100 cans per minute. This means that once you reach that max, you will most likely need to purchase an entirely different system. This can be avoided by buying a machine that can grow with your brewery and adjust outputs as needed.
Why ProBrew Only Sells Rotary Can Fillers
ProBrew only sells rotary can fillers because we believe that this is the best option for the beverage producers that we partner with. Rotary can fillers provide the necessary flexibility in output ranges that most breweries need to consistently grow at their own pace. As mentioned before, our can fillers can achieve consistent accuracy and quality of beers between 100-600 cans per minute applications. In addition, the adaptability of a rotary filler allows for different sized cans, typically 12 ounce, 16 ounce, or 19.2 ounce, to be filled in the same day utilizing fast changeover training that comes with every filler.
Finally, rotary fillers from ProBrew are filled with automation. This means that when it comes to low product waste, product agitation, and DO pickup, our rotary fillers are second to none. Rotary filling allows for product consistency at a scale that far exceeds mobile and inline filling.
Get in Touch
ProBrew has always been a dedicated and trusted partner to breweries, especially when they make the lap to canning their product. That is why we only sell rotary can fillers, which significantly reduce product waste and produce higher quality products at scale when compared to other options. Want to get in touch today? Simply email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 262-278-4945 to get in touch!