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First MicroCube in South Korea

Plaster is crumbling from the buildings’ façades, graffiti decorate the walls, and the streets are imbued with an aura of carefree creativity. Seongsu-Dong is the consummately gentrified district in South Korea’s capital Seoul. With its urban-lifestyle character, it resembles NYC’s Brooklyn, Berlin’s Kreuzberg or London’s Camden Town. The erstwhile home to small traders and cobblers has been undergoing a renaissance for more than 15 years now. In 2011, young creative minds discovered the district for themselves: they resuscitated its heritage from bygone days and breathed new life into the meanwhile-faded ambience. In the former warehouses, nowadays you will find small galleries and boutiques, plus cafés and bars.

It’s precisely this relaxed, creative atmosphere that’s also embodied by the Amazing Brewing Company. Kim Tae-kyung founded the microbrewery in April 2016, after acquiring a taste for craft beer while studying for an MBA in the USA. He opened a small brewery in Seongsu-Dong, with an integrated brewpub, whose decor, with its small wooden tables, iron chairs and wooden barrels, evokes the district’s original artisanal character. And Kim Tae-kyung’s concept would appear to have divined the Koreans’ taste with consummate accuracy: his brewpub is jam-packed on most evenings, and the demand for his beers is also so high that he’s already had to upsize. Unsurprisingly – after all, the water from Seongsu-Dong is reputed to be the best in the entire city. In fact, in Korean, “Seongsu“ means something like “holy water” or “water of the king”. Meanwhile, the Amazing Brewing Company is at a total of four facilities producing more than 25 types, and comes up with some surprising new beers every season.

Using the MicroCube for fully automated production

It was the huge demand, too, that was behind the microbrewery’s decision back in 2017 to venture on some capacity upsizing. As its partner, the company opted for technology from Germany.

At the facility in Icheon, commissioning for the compact-size Steinecker MicroCube brewhouse from Krones will begin in September 2018. The modularised system consists of three vessels – mash tun, lauter tun and whirlpool kettle –, which cover all steps of the process. It enables a brew size of 25 hectolitres to be produced up to six times a day – adding up to more than 33,750 hectolitres a year. Besides the brewing equipment, Krones will also provide the utilities for the water supply and the CIP system.

So far, most manipulations at the Amazing Brewing Company were performed by hand. With the MicroCube, the microbrewery is now stepping up to fully automated production – and needs considerably fewer manipulations than previously. “We decided to work with Krones on our latest brewery as we’ve heard awesome things about Krones from our friends in brewing. We also considered comparative quality and the lead time. Plus, Krones having an office in Korea gave us confidence in reliability and quality assurance,” explains Kwan-Youl Kim, Head Brewer at Amazing Brewing Co.

Double premiere

The MicroCube is a premiere not only for the Amazing Brewing Company, but for Krones as well: because the system is the first of its kind in South Korea. “The craft beer wave also arrived in Korea a good two years ago. Up to now, however, these brewers had been opting for equipment from relatively small vendors, mainly from China. Many of them probably don’t even know that Krones offers suitable equipment for them as well. With the MicroCube, we’ve now for the first time gained a foothold in the local craft brewer scene – and are of course hoping that many more orders will follow,” explains Seoung-Mun Byun from Krones’ South Korean Sales team.

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