Second SA craft brewer opts for cans
Kruger Brau installs a semi-automated Cask machine
South Africa’s Kruger Brau is reportedly the country’s second craft brewer to move into packaging its beers in cans.
The family-run brewery, located in the Free State town of Sasolburg about 100 kilometres southwest of Johannesburg, has released micro-canned four beers in 440ml aluminium cans. It’s making use of a Semi-Automatic Canning System (SAMS) from American supplier Cask Brewing Systems.
According to brewery founder JR ‘Rudie’ Kruger, the move into cans gives Kruger Brau longer shelf life, makes a wider distribution possible and offers greater potential for exports. Kruger Brau’s SAMS machine produces about 40 cases per hour.
Kruger, a mechanical engineer, said, “The design quality, build quality and maintainability over the long term are very important to me. My research indicated that Cask had proven technology and many happy clients.”
According to Cask, Nottingham Road Brewery, located north of Pietermaritzburg, was the first South African craft brewer to introduce canned beer.
Cask Brewing Systems has played a leading role in introducing craft brewers to the potential use of canned beer. Its origins date back to 2002, when it sold its first machine, a table-top machine that seamed one can at a time, to Oskar Blues Brewery & Pub in Colorado, making it the first American microbrewer to brew and can its own beer.
Since then Cask’s manual, semi-automated and automated canning systems are in use today in over 600 small breweries, wineries, cider makers and other drinks producers in 34 countries.