Much like the 1950s were the golden age of television, we are currently living in the golden age of craft beer brewing.
According to the Brewers Association (BA), there are more breweries operating in this country than ever before. There are 4,144 breweries in the United States, surpassing the previous record of 4,131 set in 1873. “This is a remarkable achievement, and it’s just the beginning,” BA’s Chief Economist Bart Watson says. “Beer has always been a hallmark of this country, and it is even more apparent today as America’s beer culture continues to expand.”
The number of breweries has increased 19.6 percent since 2014, and one of the reasons for the craft brewery boom has been the variety of flavors the craft brewing community has produced. Whether it’s a pilsner, an IPA or a stout, there is a craft beer catering to the most discerning palate.
“Americans are realizing this flavorless swill they’re drinking is not all that beer can be,” Maine Brewers’ Guild Executive Director Sean Sullivan told MaineBiz. “There’s a style of beer for everyone, whether you like something spicy, summery, chocolatey or anything in between.”
A year ago, craft breweries in the U.S. brewed 22.2 million barrels of beer, an 18 percent increase from 2013. The industry also amassed $19.6 billion in sales and accounted for 11 percent of all beer produced in the country.
So you have decided to take your love of beer to the next level and open a brewery. While this business venture is risky and requires a great deal of capital at the beginning, Chart Industries can assist and provide cost-cutting cryogenic solutions to meet your brewing needs.
By providing beer gases, carbon dioxide (CO2) and liquid nitrogen (LN2), utilizing Chart’s industry standard bulk liquid gas storage system and state-of-the art UltraDoser® liquid nitrogen dosing system, you are well on your way to creating a successful and profitable brewery.
No matter the scale of your operation, Chart’s engineers can customize a bulk storage solution to meet your liquid gas needs, with a variety of beverage-grade CO2 and LN2 cylinders ranging in size from 200 pounds to 6,000 pounds. So as your business grows, you can the increase the size of your storage cylinders.
These tanks have set the industry standard with their high-quality and dependability. Because Chart’s vacuum-insulated tanks are designed so well, they help cut operating costs by preventing unwanted venting, which not only wastes gas but also costs money. The industry-leading, seven-year warranty on the vacuum reaffirms the long-term integrity and efficiency of the bulk storage system.
These high-flow tanks are available in a portable Dura-Cyl® portable liquid cylinder to the larger Perma-Cyl® MicroBulk storage tanks, which are a permanent fixture in the brewery and can be regularly filled through a gas distributor. These tanks are capable of meeting the demands of all brewery operations, including carbonation and bottling.
While CO2 provides the fizz for your biz, LN2 has multiple functions when it comes to the brew business. It is important during the packaging process and is a key component in the brewing of stout-style beverages, which are nitrogen-infused craft beer.
In addition to forming small dense bubbles, which put a thick foamy head on the beer and create a cascading effect when poured from a tap or bottle, nitrogen is essential when it comes to bottling and packaging your beer for distribution.
With more than 30 years of experience perfecting LN2 packaging, Chart has set the standard with the use of LN2 dosing, which aids in the preservation of your product as well as pressurization for the container. Both are cost-effective solutions to protect your brewery’s bottom line.
The main objective of the dosing process is the removal of oxygen. While oxygen is good for breathing and sustaining life, it is a detriment to beer. Too much oxygen equals flat beer, which equals a poor consumer experience and that translates to poor sales, poor reputation and eventually a for sale sign on the front door of your fledgling business.
LN2 is stored in a vacuum-insulated storage tank. The LN2 travels through a vacuum insulated pipe system, helping the gas maintain its liquid form and prevent gas boil-off. The LN2 goes into the doser application where it is dispensed into the containers prior to sealing.
When LN2 warms, it expands as a gas. When a sensor on the dosing application detects a container, the doser head releases the exact amount of pure LN2 into the top of the can or bottle. The trapped LN2 vaporizes. It flushes out the oxygen, protecting the precious cargo from oxidation.
The vaporized N2 also creates pressure and adds rigidity to the container. The end result is a longer shelf life and a stronger can. The cans can be stacked or stored easier, making for more efficient shipping and the ability to make better use of storage space. Better cans and better taste equal better margins for your business.
Dosing reduces 90 to 95 percent of oxygen in the container’s headspace and a 60 percent reduction in total packaged oxygen. Translated, the removal of oxygen makes the container lighter. It has been proven that a 9-gram reduction in bottle weight translates into $2.6 in annual savings. That is money you can put back into your brewery business.
“I would say the doser probably pays for itself in one to three months,” Chart Beverage Engineer Tyler Jones says. “Nitrogen dosing can be a cost-effective and simple solution for a brewery.”