Oskar Blues Brewery introduced craft beer in cans in 2002 and they are now the largest American craft brewery to package beer exclusively in cans.
By Oliver Arian
Most microbrewed beers are sold in glass bottles, but Oskar Blues owner Dale Katechis says: “Cans actually are good for beer because they keep it fresh with full protection from light and oxygen. Cans also are easier to recycle and cost less to ship.” Katechis believes his “Canned Beer Apocalypse” will change the way consumers feel about craft beers in cans.
The level of automation is impressive in the Longmont, CO brewery. A Sentry depalletizer is transferring the cans (supplied by Ball Corp.) from the pallets to the conveyor in single-file to the KHS 30 Valve Filler after being rinsed. The cans are closed by an Angelus Seamer.
Plant Manager Jim Weatherwax says: “This system is basically a scaled-down version of the machine used by Anheuser-Busch InBev and Miller-Coors. It’s the top-of-the-line automation. ”He said the canning line is capable of filling, sealing and automatically packaging 210 16-ounce cans per minute and 280 12-ounce cans per minute.
The end-of-line equipments include an automatic 6 packer from Hi-Cone and a Sen-Pack Cartoner for 12 pack and tray packaging.
Companies featured in this article