Builders have another for the road
A Nelson-made automated craft beer system, worth between $1 million and $2m, is on its way to an Australian client, where it will produce about 3 million litres of the brown stuff a year.
Chris Little Engineering Brew Systems (CLE) is preparing to send a new, state-of-the-art brewhouse to Murray's Craft Brewing Co, in Nelson Bay in Port Stephens, near Sydney.
Chief executive Chris Little said the system took about 11 months to build, with the project involving 10 fulltime staff along with contractors and assistance from Innovative Design Engineers, Nelson Electrical and those in the brewing industry.
The system was controlled using computers, rather than manually, which took a lot of the manpower out of the task, he said.
The project was worth "between $1m and $2m" and would produce about 3 million litres a year, suitable for a high-production craft beer brand.
The 2500-litre brewhouse would be shipped in eight 40-foot containers.
"It's not the biggest one [CLE has made], but it's probably the most technical one that we have built as far as automation going," Mr Little said.
CLE designs personalised brewing systems for the craft beer industry, with 80 per cent of their brewhouses exported overseas.
The company has provided brewhouses to Mapua company Golden Bear Brewing, in which is has a stake.
CLE was now working on two smaller systems to go to clients in the North Island and in Saskatchewan, Canada.
The most popular system was about 1200 litres, which was in demand with restaurants or bars that wanted a small amount of their own beer, he said.
The company was unusual in that it had the expertise to manage a project from start to finish, from manufacturing to the commercial sales process, he said.
"People are dealing with the same person from conception to completion."
Craft beer was becoming incredibly popular, he said.
"Literally, wine sales are dropping off and craft beer is ramping up. People have got a good taste for beer."
- © Fairfax NZ News