Small Tower Breweries for Craft Operations

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What do I mean by “small tower breweries for craft operations”? The easiest way is to show you a picture, like the one below.

I went to Jinan last week to check on a dedicated hazy IPA brewery project for a client in Japan. I came across this unique style brewery, at one of my preferred suppliers.

Honestly, it was a true light bulb moment for me. As I’d been researching small-scale commercial brewing for a long time, like in this article linked.

I’m seeing a need to place breweries on small footprints. There are various reasons for this including:

  • Brewpubs being put into shopping malls
  • People putting small breweries into existing bars/pubs
  • Fitting a brewery into a shipping container, like this project
  • Fitting brewing equipment into a place with high rents, where space is a premium (like Tokyo, Japan)
  • Seeing people putting brewing equipment in to a garage or shed
  • Additionally, breweries being put into remote locations, needing ease of use and setup

The smallest capacity is 80-liters with the largest fabricated so far, being 1,000-liters People have enquired about larger volumes such as 2,000-liters, but we don’t believe this is practical.

Brewhouse Capacities from 80 to 1,000-liters
The 1,000-liter Set-Ups

Going Hyperlocal

The hyperlocal brewpub model is one being seen more and more. Brewery owners who aren’t looking to keep growing.

Instead, are wanting to sell their freshly brewed beer to locals and in some instances tourists. All within their local area/community.

They simply want to run a sustainable business…Usually, it’s a small town with a population under 4,000. Or, what I’m seeing more of…A brewery in a remote location/island serving to market not used to craft beer.

I’ve had enquiries from Reunion Island, Madagascar and recently worked on a project for Coron Brewery in The Philippines.

With many enquiries space is a premium. Within a small building; there needs to be a simple kitchen, the largest customer area possible, as well as a small brewhouse, able to produce quality beer. As a brewing consultant I need to think vertically, when fitting a brewery in the smallest space possible.

Small Tower Breweries for Craft Operations - Thinking Vertically

Small Tower Breweries for Craft Operations – Small Mobile Footprint

These tower breweries are the ideal for small footprint. They even have wheels so, when they brew day is done, they can be pushed to one side. This opens up space to do other brewing tasks, like filling kegs.

As I said before, these towers are for brewing smaller volumes. The biggest one I saw was for 600-liters. With small batch size, you can use stacked unitanks and brite beer tanks (BBT’s) too.

If you have the ceiling height, brewing equipment manufacturers can build sets of tanks with one vessel on top of the other. As in the drawings below.

Furthermore, the top vessel can be fabricated with a longer CIP/CO2 arm, to enable access without the use of a ladder or climbing aid.

When I used to brew into these stacked vessels it was great. I could still filter beer into the BBT tanks, which were on top of a unitank below. There was no loss of versatility using this setup.

Costs – Small Tower Breweries for Craft Operations

There are two separate vessels, a mash/lauter tun on top of a kettle whirlpool. As they are stacked, there’s less materials used, compared to fabricating two separate vessels.

This will of course reduce the costs of fabrication too. Thus, making the price for your complete brewing project cheaper to boot.

Additionally, these breweries are all electric heating which provides the smallest footprint of all heating options. Plus, has the  cheapest upfront costs as well.

Customization

The brewery can come as a basic set-up for the cheapest option. However, changes can be made to suit the requirements needed. Please note, all tower breweries apart from the 80-liter one have a mixer like the one pictures below.

Small Tower Breweries for Craft Operations - Rake Option

If you want to do higher abv beers; the mash/lauter tun can be de designed to accommodate this. If someone has a particular change they’d like to make/add, it can certainly be discussed.

All brewhouses come with a plate heat exchanger, rated to the size needed. These can configured with spare electric heaters, control panels dependent on needs.

Furthermore, if you have more than one brew tower at a location, each can have their own movable pump. Additionally, it should be noted brew towers 600-liters and up can come with an optional working platfrom too.

Small Tower Breweries for Craft Operations – Conclusions

When looking to use a tower brewery to reduce footprint, other novel solutions can be considered too. For example, attaching water filtration on the wall higher up.

Other brewing equipment can be put on wheels like the keg cleaner and moved out of the way when not in use.

If you’d like to learn more about these small tower breweries for craft operations then please email me at:

neil@asianbeernetwork.com

Furthermore, you can contact me directly on your preferred platform by simply scanning the relevant QR code below. It doesn’t have to be for a tower brewer, it can be for any type of brewery or beverage project.

I look forward to discussing your brewing project with you. Thanks for reading and have a great day.

Neil Playfoot

Neil is a brewer with 25 years international brewing experience. Based out of China (first came in 2010) he works as a brewing consultant helping brewers with their projects and brewing processes. To find out what services Neil can provide your brewery please click here. If you'd like to contact Neil you can email at neil@asianbeernetwork.com.
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