Cutting ​Your Cost While Increasing​ Quality​

The biggest drivers for craft beer at this time are being local, innovative, high quality and consistent​,​ and Christy Johnson, ​the ​Marketing Director ​for Cahaba Brewing sees that in her brewery.

“We tend to not jump on the newest fad quickly but we move more towards being innovative in our processes and techniques​,” he said​.​ ​This has caused ​the Birmingham, Alabama brewery to purchase a centrifuge in the past few months and ​when the integration of it into ​their system works as planned, the ability to be more consistent will decrease the overall ROI.

​T​o work at cutting cost while increasing quality it has ​also ​utilized purchasing in bulk from suppliers and paying attention to the shelf stability of ingredients as well as trying to figure out the best process ​and ​techniques to minimize loss, increase efficiency, and decrease time constraints.

​”​These things allow us to keep with the high level of quality that Cahaba seeks will opening up more opportunities​,” Johnson said.

Saving money on buying used instead of new can be a saving plus, but a buyer must beware of losing on quality or consistency.

NoDa Brewing owner Todd Ford ​said that packaging equipment is the hardest ​piece of equipment buy.

“We have not been afraid to buy used tanks that have quality construction and who have been well-maintained,” Ford said, who opened NoDa in Charlotte in 2011. “We really are not likely to buy packaging equipment used just because of the need to coordinate operations with other equipment and the need for top customer support with complicated bottling and canning lines.”

​Old canning and bottling lines still run​,​ but Kayne Fisher of Natty Greene’s equated using older equipment to the golf industry​.

“I feel sometimes that some of our equipment we’re playing is still actual woods. And now you can get Titanium Plus stuff. So we’re still putting the ball down the middle. We’re just about 100 yards behind everybody else​,” he said. “A tank is still a tank, it really it is. I mean it’s all about technology now [elsewhere]. And technology equates to efficiencies and yields, and that’s really big in our industry​.”

Ford said that NoDa has bought tanks from local breweries that they know and know they care for the equipment along with buying equipment via online posts.

“Normally we know what is available locally, either now or in the future, by talking to other breweries that are going through expansion projects or ones opening new facilities,” he said.

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