As a brewing consultant, I offer brewing assistance to companies looking to set up breweries around the world. The main service I offer is helping breweries source equipment from China.
Hello, my name is Neil Playfoot; I’m a British brewer with 25 years experience in the industry. I’ve worked in several countries including the UK, France, Bermuda and China (where I’m now based).
Click Play to watch the video
I’ve also consulted on a number of projects from Hong Kong to the Cayman Islands utilizing my wide network of industry contacts.
I first came to China 10 years ago after being offered a head brewers position. Over time, I made China my home; as I grew my brewing network in Asia, I decided to transition to become a brewing consultant.
My finished my last onsite consulting role at the end of last year. Helping a client install a small 20HL production brewery in Kunming, China.
Watch the video above for more information on the Kunming installation.
I’m now helping clients in the UK, Asia and Continental Europe design their brewhouse set-up and source equipment from China .
Harness 25 Years Experience and Large Network Of Brewing Contacts For Your Brewery
I have worked in both brewpubs and production breweries on a number of systems. My last position was production manager of a 35 HL brewery.
This brewery had 70HL FV’s, centrifuge, bottling and kegging lines in was operating in Armenia.
It meant building up a team from scratch and writing their SOP’s. I also implemented health and safety protocols as well as built out new recipes for their core range of beers.
Asian Brewing Consultant – What I can do for You
With this in mind I can offer several services tailor made to suit your needs:
–>If you have a tight budget I know Chinese manufacturers who can build high quality manual breweries to suit your needs. I know breweries who have used these manufacturers and can supply testimonials of their build quality.
–>If you need some automation I know manufactures that can build breweries to you specification depending on budget.
Above are testimonial from people I’ve worked with on different projects
Furthermore these manufacturers can offer their own Chinese brewing software at a lower price (that have an English language option). Or they can install European made software for those with a larger budget.
With either option please note: The electronics Chinese brewing equipment manufacturers use are European made, for example, Siemens for critical parts.
–> I can help you with installing your brewing system. Plus put procedures in place utilizing my experience of brewing installs. Also, as part of my service I can build recipes to your specifications for your core beer range.
In addition I can build healthy and safety protocols, create SOP’s and train staff setting you up to be successful for the long term.
–> I can source a particular pieces of equipment if you are looking to upgrade your brewery. Recently I had a brewery in the Caribbean looking to upgrade from DE filtering to purchasing a centrifuge.
An entry level centrifuge in Europe or the US starts at US$70,000. You can source a centrifuge for in China for US$30,000. Which means even with shipping costs; the purchase and ROI (return on investment) is much lower.
Speaking of ROI, I know of a brewer in Greece who paid off the investment on his fermentation vessels after 4.5 turns!
The Horror Stories of Chinese Brewing Equipment
It is fair to say that in 10 years Chinese brewing equipment has come a long way. When overseas breweries first bought equipment from China 10 years ago, we heard about unsanitary welds or even people not getting the equipment they ordered.
However times have changed and now many US and European brewing equipment manufacturers buy their tank from China.
Then add the finishing touches in-house before sending to the client often for a premium.
Why pay a middleman when you can get a brewery direct from the manufacturer?
Now many breweries outside China are opting for Chinese made breweries. Recently Bold Republic Brewing out of Texas purchased brewing equipment made in China.
Moreover the big boys like AB InBev are using Chinese made equipment for installations. For example with their brew-house purchases for Goose Island brewpubs, brewpubs projects in India and the innovation brewery for Hand and Malt in South Korea.
For more information about buying Chinese made equipment read our article “Is it Safe to Buy Chinese Brewing Equipment” for a more in-depth look.
Asian Brewing Consultant – Planning A Brewery
How Big To Go With Your Brewery
When planning your brewery you need to know how big to go. Start too small and your cost of expansion further down the line could be prohibitive.
Others factors to consider are:
- How much do you plan to brew per month and year?
- What is your overall budget for the project?
- How large is your building?
- What are you goals for the next 3-5 years?
The answers to these questions will allow us to work together to:
- Find the right size brewing system to fit your needs now and goals for the future.
- Find the right equipment to suit fit your budget
- Make sure the floor space of your brewery is balanced (if you have a taproom) to ensure your business has the best possible chance to succeed.
==> For a breakdown of my services & experience please see my Power Point introductory deck by clicking here <==
Please note: Depending on device your using, might ask to direct download
The Layout of Your Brewery
The layout of your brewery is an important factor. It can effect:
- How much manpower you use
- Lower your utility costs
- Increase brew-house efficiency and yields whilst lowering environmental costs
- EVEN the quality of you beer
Costs and Strategic Planning: Thinking Vertically and More…
When it comes to brew-house space people forget to think vertically. For example if you have a brewpub and limited space then stacking fermentation tanks on top of one another is a great option.
Also to achieve future goals planning ahead when initially installing the brewery can vastly reduce costs of expansion. Space is key in any brewery.
In addition the workflow of the brewery is critical. For example placing serving tanks in a brewpub close as possible to your taps will reduce installation expenditure as well as ongoing costs to serve your beers cold.
Utilities Costs Are One Breweries Main Expenses: Let’s Lower Them for You
The right layout of your brewery can save you money!
- The rule is; the closer each step in the brewing process the more you save.
- Keeping utilities closer to where they’re needed saves on installation costs. Like piping and heat loss through steam delivery for example.
- Energy recovery systems and reducing water usage will save you money and help reduce your impact of the environment.
The Big Day – Brewery Installation
One of the most important and stressful days is brewery installation. With several brewery installs under my belt, I can help the process go more smoothly on the big day
Let’s Remember the 7 P’s
Prior Preparation and Planning can Prevent Piss Poor Performance.
There is a lot of work to do before your brewery arrives on site. I can work with the brewery equipment manufacturers and local contractors to make sure the install goes smoothly. Let’s think about:
- Drainage – this is critical to a brewery and good planning can save a lot of pain down the line
- Water outlets – to make sure your brewery is clean and sanitary
- Spacing and usage – Will you need room for a forklift? Will most of your beers be sold in keg or bottle?
- Utilities – Will you use gas and steam or electricity? Will your local government allow you to install a steam generator and if so what size are you allowed?
On the day of the actual install we will make sure you have enough man-power, the right equipment for lifts and cranes (depending on brewery size).
I can be there on the day and make sure you, your contractors and the equipment manufacturers are on the same page to ensure the day goes as smoothly as possible.
So in summary we can walk you through the whole process from planning through install and getting you operational for long term success.
To sum up I am here to help you anyway I can. With 24 years of international brewing experience I have gone though the gamut of issues and problems so you don’t have to.
I joke I went to China for an adventure and ended up coming back to Europe with a family. However, I missed China, as did my Chinese wife so, we decided to make China our home.
Please see the picture of my wife, daughter and I in front of the Fat Fat Beer Horse Tank of honor on the left.
I decided to use the knowledge I gained to set up my own business. As an Asian Brewing Consultant based in China I can assistant you with any equipment purchases…be it for expansion or brewery install.
Please feel free to contact me right now with any questions, queries or if you’re ready to make that purchase and need assistance. Simply fill in the form below, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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