Page 100 - Food&Drink magazine November-December 2022
P. 100

                Mountain Culture brewery, one of the fastest growing craft breweries in Australia, has installed a Krones Craftmate C canning line
– the 100th of its kind installed globally, and the 8th in Australia – at its new brewpub and brewery in Emu Plains. To mark the milestone, executives from Krones presented a plaque to co-founders DJ and Harriet McCready.
Lindy Hughson reports.
Krones installs 100th Craftmate C at Mountain Culture brewery
   The Mountain Culture success story is one of pioneering spirit and remarkable tenacity. DJ McCready, an experienced brewer who learned his trade in large breweries in the US, wanted to try his hand at craft beer, which would give him scope to experiment with new beer types on a smaller scale.
Three years ago, in 2019, DJ and partner Harriet opened Mountain Culture’s first brewpub in Katoomba, Blue Mountains. But things got off to a rocky start because soon after
opening the bushfires struck, followed in quick succession by the outbreak of Covid and the attendant lockdowns. Not to be deterred, the duo set about transforming the brewpub into an e-commerce business.
“This was a gamechanger for us,” DJ McCready tells Machinery Matters.“By selling our canned brews online, we were able to bring the experience of trying a new beer on tap into people’s living rooms during lockdown. That put us on a fast track to expansion – we went from our original output of
60,000 litres to half a million litres, all in a matter of a few months, just by leading the charge this way.”
Not only has the e-commerce side of the business taken off (and still accounts for 20 per cent of the business), Mountain Culture is now also servicing demand from the country’s two largest liquor retailers – Coles Liquor and Endeavour Group.
With sales rocketing, Mountain Culture quickly outgrew the original brewpub’s capacity and the company set its sights on new premises with expanded capacity in Emu Plains, located in the foothills of the Blue Mountains.
The new facility would emulate the Katoomba brewpub (which still operates) on a larger scale, including a full brewery and packaging lines as well as a brewpub for on-site consumption. The Emu Plains site will take capacity from the current two million litres to eight million litres per annum.
A core piece of equipment in the production of canned beers is naturally the canning line.
Mountain Culture, unlike
many start-up craft brewers, has run its own canning line from the outset rather than rely on contract canning. With its first canning line having hit capacity, the company was in search of a machine that would not only meet the new levels of demand but would accommodate future expansion.
Enter the Krones Craftmate C, a specialist filling line designed for the craft brewer, with all the technological capability of a large-scale brewing line. This volumetric filler is compact in design, with flexibility to fill beer (and carbonated beverages) in different can sizes and shapes. Filling accuracy is high, ensuring no ‘giveaways’, with electropneumatically-controlled filling valves and an inductive flow meter ensuring fill quantity can be determined to the last millilitre.
Pressing-on and pressurisation of the cans is performed via a double-acting cylinder and a differential pressure chamber. The product is fed to the machine via laterally-positioned buffer tanks and the valve manifold and control cabinet are right next to the filler. This way, the
 Thomas Gerstl, Krones head of sales Asia Pacific, congratulates DK McCready on Mountain Culture’s installation of the Craftmate C.

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