Brewed in the jungle

We’re venturing a look into the future. Well, into the 1/16 issue of the magazine at least. Because we’ve already had a peek at the contents, and found some very interesting articles. Such as a report on a brewery in the jungle of Peru, from which we would like to reveal here the most important facts. There will then be even more information in the magazine as from February.

Right in the heart of Peru’s rain forest, in Pucallpa, the Cervecería San Juan brewery has since 1975 been making its beers for the people living in this huge sparsely populated jungle region. It is quite obvious that this isolated location poses some special challenges, both for the brewery’s supply lines and also, of course, for beer distribution. In 2014, Cervecería San Juan took delivery of a new returnable-glass line from Krones, rated at 60,000 bottles an hour. Just getting the new machines to the plant presented quite a few obstacles. Since it proved impossible to haul the filler, boasting as it does a diameter of 6.5 metres, across the Andes from Lima, Krones opted for river shipment along the whole length of the Amazon and its headstream, the Ucayali. A long journey but – all’s well that ends well. Since late 2014, the line has been successfully producing in three-shift operation, thus upping the brewery’s filling capacity.


In 2013 came a major step forward: San Juan had the existing Steinecker brewhouse completely refurbished. There Krones installed a mash tun, a cereal cooker and a whirlpool. In its old brewhouse, San Juan had still been working with a lauter tun for lautering the wort. Now the brewery decided to install a mash filter from Steinecker. The new brewhouse, which has been dimensioned for 525 hectolitres per brew, produces fourteen brews a day.

After the brewhouse had been taken care of, it was time to upgrade the bottling hall. Up till then, San Juan had been producing its beers with machines from a variety of manufacturers on a line rated at 42,000 bottles an hour. Following the positive experience gained with Krones’ returnable-glass line installed in 2012 in their Motupe plant, Backus and SABMiller decided to copy this line layout for San Juan. So what’s up and running now in Pucallpa is an absolutely identical bottling line.

However, there was one “minor” obstacle: the high-performance filler ordered by San Juan has a diameter of 6.5 metres. The transport crate it is packed in then has outer dimensions of 8.15 metres times 7 metres times 3.4 metres (height) and weighs 33 tons. Although there is in fact a road link between the country’s capital Lima on the Pacific coast and Pucallpa located 150 metres above sea level, this does inevitably go over the Andes. On narrow tracks and over steep passes, it climbs up to the Ticlio pass, at 4,818 metres (15,900 ft.). It’s a distance of 750 kilometres to travel, and even in a passenger car you need up to 16 hours for it. The road passes through three different zones: the coastal region, the Andes and finally the lowlands of the rain forest. Even though it was possible to transport all of the line’s kit (and that included the bottle washer, which had been divided up into segments for this purpose) along this road, there was no way of also sending the gargantuan crate holding the filler on this journey.

So Krones chose a different path: on a low-loader escorted by police from Neutraubling to Antwerp, and from there in March 2014 by freighter to Houston, Texas, where the filler arrived one month later and was reloaded onto another ship, which took it via the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean right up to the Amazon estuary at the Brazilian city of Belém. From there, it travelled for several days up the Amazon until it reached Iquitos in Peru, where it was again transferred onto a smaller vessel, which finally negotiated the rest of the Amazon and the Ucayali until it reached the little river port of Pucallpa. By June, all machines had safely arrived on site, so that erection work on the new Krones line could start. December 2014 then saw the first filled bottles coming off the line.

The summary has aroused your interest? Then request the magazine right now, so as to get it in your letterbox straight from the printer’s. 


Das deutschsprachige Video zum Artikel finden Sie hier.

Share on Pinterest

Juan Carlos Perez at 1. February 2016

Excelente proyecto en Perú, gracias a Krones por la gran tecnología.

Maria Seywald at 1. February 2016

Muchas gracias por su commentario!

All (*) marked fields are mandatory fields