While the latest edition was still at the printer’s, we took a quick look inside the 4/15 magazine. And it was well worthwhile! We don’t want to post any spoilers here, but nor did we want to keep what we saw all to ourselves either. For instance, there’s an article about Newcomers, which we found fascinating. We’re reporting the salient facts about it here already, and there’ll be more about it in the next magazine.

When Doppelleu Brauwerkstatt AG in Winterthur first began production, craft beer had definitely arrived in Switzerland as well. After their first year of brewing, the newcomers had already decided to increase their capacity from 5,000 to 35,000 hectolitres. They have now successfully completed this upsizing project with a modified CombiCube B brewhouse and a bottling line featuring machines from Kosme and Krones. With its two product lines of Chopfab and Doppelleu, the Brauwerkstatt has rapidly established itself as Switzerland’s biggest and most successful craft brewery.

Both of them are lateral entrants. The two Managing Directors of Doppelleu Brauwerkstatt AG, Philip Bucher and Jörg Schönberg, had good jobs with established Swiss firms, and up to then had had no experience whatsoever with brewing beer. But they went boldly ahead nonetheless.

The idea of setting up their own craft brewery had been long years in the ripening for both of them. Inspired by the craft beer scene in the USA, which they followed very closely and found personally fascinating, they came to the conclusion that the success story in the USA would be repeated in almost every other country, so in Switzerland as well – though after a time-lag of ten to fifteen years. “And this has come true”, says a gratified Philip Bucher.

Only one year after the start-up, the Brauwerkstatt realised that its concept was paying off: demand was soon going to exceed the existing capacity. So the brewery began negotiations with Krones for a new brewhouse and the bottling line. “This market is simply very attractive,” comments Philip Bucher. “Right from the start, our plan was to sustainably exceed a critical size of about 5,000 hectolitres.“

The new machines and kit from Krones were delivered in late 2014, and early in 2015 the brewery was up and running with an annual installed capacity of 35,000 hectolitres.

For the wet end of the bottling line, Doppelleu signed a turnkey agreement under which Krones undertook to integrate into the new line the empty-bottle inspector from the old line and the existing labeller, only purchased two years previously. Here, adhesives from KIC Krones ensure optimal label positioning. Doppelleu installed a Lavatec E2 bottle washer, plus a crate washer supplied by Krones. The washed returnable bottles are passed to the Kosme rinser-filler-closer block, in which if necessary the non-returnable glass bottles can be rinsed before being filled.

Downstream of the filler, a Checkmat F-X inspects the bottles for the correct fill level using X-rays, and the closure position. After the labeller, another Checkmat from the E series ensures meticulous inspection of the label placement. Krones linked up all the machines, existing and new ones alike, with its own conveyors. “In an output range of 12,000 bottles per hour, the Kosme filler is absolutely fit for purpose, not least because it also incorporates the Krones technology,” comments Philip Bucher.

When it came to planning the brewhouse, Doppelleu and Krones gradually felt their way forward to the ultimate version. The result is a combination of a modularised CombiCube B and a completely customised brewhouse featuring a Pegasus C lauter tun, a ShakesBeer mash tun, a wort copper with a Stromboli internal boiler, a vapour condenser and a whirlpool.

Doppelleu also insisted on a TFS diatomite filter. About half the craft beer varieties are filtered, like a pale ale, “which then looks like a lager beer, but nevertheless exhibits the refined taste and broad spectrum of aromatics of a top-fermented ale,” says an enthusiastic Managing Director.

“The collaboration with Krones on this project was both professional and pleasant,” is the verdict of a relaxed Philip Bucher. “We’re now in the reassuring position of being able to catch up with our capacities over the next few years. We can’t look into the future – things may keep on progressing at the same pace, or growth may flatten out.”

Well, are you curious? Then you should request the magazine right here, so as not to miss out on a single issue in the future.

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