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A cool solution for a fast-expanding brewery

08 August 2016

A rapidly growing London-based craft brewery has chosen to hire the necessary temperature control systems which has allowed it to reduce capital expenditure and make it more flexible as it continues to grow. 

The strong, quirky brand identity of Beavertown Brewery’s craft beers, alongside its insistence on quality have resulted in a rapid increase in demand for its craft beers. 

The fast growth of the company saw it move to larger premises and, to ensure consistency of product quality it opted to hire cooling solutions from ICS Cool Energy which offered the company a practical alternative which helped reduce its capital expenditure.

Jenn Merrick, Beavertown’s head brewer and operations manager, said the flexibility of hiring temperature control equipment has been a significant factor in the growth of the company. She said: “To keep pace with demand, we are always on our toes and need to be very flexible. Hiring cooling equipment suits us as a business as we can use essential capital for growth rather than have money tied up in systems that may not suit us in the next few years or even sooner.” 

With an increasing range of craft beers, the addition of a new 200-seat tap room and organising craft beer events, the fact that ICS Cool Energy’s rental support and service package is on call round the clock was also important to Beavertown Brewery.

“We want to focus on the overall business and not have to worry about whether one part of our vital temperature control is functioning correctly. So ICS Cool Energy is an ideal partner because of the hire service support and the fact they are there for essential maintenance and on call 24/7 in case of emergencies gives us extra peace of mind,” continued Merrick.

Beavertown’s relationship with ICS Cool Energy began when an existing cooling system failed to cope and a personal recommendation led the brewery to ICS Cool Energy’s fast response team. Cooling was needed for six tanks as part of the fermentation and packaging process, but the 25kW system could not keep up with the requirements, especially in the summer.

Fast response to seasonal spikes
Russ Baker, hire sales director at ICS Cool Energy oversaw the specification and implementation of the replacement system. “Brewing is an art form based on fine margins. Accurate temperature control is essential to achieving consistent brews all year round and seasonal temperature spikes can easily affect the final product if the supporting systems are not adequate.

“Given the production volumes Beavertown required, we needed to move quickly to negate any potential damaging effects from the summer weather. We were able to quickly identify ways to reduce the risk of unwanted temperature change within the fermentation tanks, and keep any associated downtime to a minimum."

“The immediate solution was to install a 75kW chiller, with a 1,000l buffer cube and a secondary circulation pump to bypass the failed system. This solution also offered greater energy efficiency as well as allowing for expansion. A chiller and air handler package were also added in the storage area of the brewery at peak ambient temperatures in the summer to ensure that all fermentation tanks were able to operate at the desired temperature, whatever the weather.

Future proofing built in
Expansion of the brewery’s production has continued rapidly. When the fermenter numbers were doubled to 12, a second 75kW chiller was installed. By the time the brewery had 24 fermentation tanks, space was at a premium so ICS Cool Energy delivered a bespoke tank to fit the space along with two new 135kW chillers. Future-proofing is also built in, with extra temperature control capacity available at the flick of a switch.

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