Marston’s adds bottling plant
British brewer installs 18,000 bph KHS line
Taking note of the long-term shift from on- to off-trade consumption, Marston’s is preparing for the future with a £7.4 million bottling plant at its brewery in Burton on Trent.
The new line, rated at 18,000 bottles per hour and capable of either flash pasteurisation or sterile filtration, is being supplied by KHS as a turnkey operation. Various elements of the line are being installed during August; according to Marston’s supply chain director Emma Gilleland, the first commercial product should roll off the line in early September. To begin it will be used to fill 275, 330 and 500 millilitre bottles.
The need for the bottling capacity has been triggered by the growth in Marston’s bottled beers, increasing 18% in the past year. Alongside the existing line, which is rated at 30,000bph, uses a tunnel pasteuriser and is nearing 20 years in service, the new line offers greater packaging flexibility. The Burton site bottles beer from all five of Marston’s breweries; the ability to sterile filter enables the brewer to bring in-house all its currently contract packaged bottle-conditioned brands.
“So we’ll have control of all our take-home volume but we see growth in contract packaging as well,” said Gilleland. “Consumer habits are not just changing for our brands, they are changing for everyone’s brands.”
Also being installed at the Burton brewery are four 480 barrel tanks, increasing capacity for holding beer before bottling. The contract was won by local firm Briggs of Burton in a competitive tender. Gilleland commented, “We’re very pleased as well. We want to support local business.”
There are a number of capex projects underway at Marston’s across its five breweries. Chief amongst these is the installation of a two-head filling machine with a palletiser for sterile filling of lightweight one-way Petainer kegs.
At Banks’s Brewery in Wolverhampton, new blending equipment is being installed before the keg racker so high gravity beer can be diluted just prior to filling. And a SAP management system is being installed at Marston’s warehouse in Mansfield.