Among the numerous operational challenges craft brewers have to address is maintaining hygienic standards during brewing while maximizing uptime and producing a consistent, high quality product.
At Chicago’s Pack Expo last week, BeverageDaily spoke to Sealed Air about how the company is answering these challenges in an increasingly competitive industry.
More time spent brewing
According to the company, the average craft brewer spends about one-fourth of their time cleaning and sanitizing equipment, a significant amount of time which Sealed Air claims it can condense to one-eighth the amount of time.
This would result in 33% more brewing hours, the company said.
One of the solutions the company offers to achieve this efficient cleaning time is the Divercraft platform, which gives craft brewers access to cleaning and sanitizing solutions as well as a knowledge transfer of safe chemical usage and handling, hygiene techniques, and compliance with federal regulations.
“It’s specifically targeted at the craft brewing industry, partly because it’s definitely a growing segment of the industry,” Sealed Air’s marketing and strategic communications manager, Liz Denby, told BeverageDaily at Pack Expo.
Beer champions program
Besides providing craft brewers with its full range of hygienic products, the Divercraft platform also connects the breweries with a team of experts, all who have over 30 years of experience in craft brewing. These beer technicians make on-site visits to the brewery and help train employees on how to implement the company’s hygienic products.
“We really work on our craft brewing relationships very similar to the rest of the hygiene business, which is very personal and it’s very one-on-one,” Denby said.
“It’s actually very well-suited to how we typically go to market and building deep relationships…more of that ground level as opposed to a more distant relationships or supplier type relationships; it’s very consultant oriented.”
Targeting transitioning breweries
The Divercraft platform is specifically targeted toward craft brewers transitioning from a small brewery operation such as a brewpub to a medium- or larger-sized brewery.
“When their businesses are smaller, it’s not uncommon for craft brewers to buy cleaning supplies at places like Lowes or Home Depot or Walmart. They’ll buy them by the case, kind of like you’d do at home or from a distributor that sells cleaning chemicals,” Denby said.
“They’re growing so quickly that making that shift from being a small business to being a medium-sized business can be very challenging and takes on a whole different meaning for them, especially in things like hygiene and managing chemicals and managing their sustainability.”
Fitting into brewers’ ‘green’ identity
According to Sealed Air, the average brewery has a “water used to beer made ratio” of 7:1: by using the Divercraft line of cleaning solution, water use can be reduced up to 20%.
“A lot of the craft brewers have a tendency to lean more toward ‘green’ and being more sustainably driven, so it’s a big feature for them when we can actually come in and help them reduce water consumption at the plant,” Denby said.