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We’ve found something again. And we were so pleased with it that we want to share it here with our readers: a rediscovered article about the Brasserie Goudale, which appeared in the 1/18 issue of the magazine. Here, however, unfortunately, we only have space for a summary of the article; you can read the full-length version in the magazine.

In the north of France, an ultra-modern brewery with an annual filling capacity of two million hectolitres was erected under the aegis of Krones: Brasserie Goudale is the response to a trend observable on the French market towards new beverage specialties, and will be concentrating on making top-fermented niche beers.

The thoroughbred entrepreneur André Pecqueur went into brewing more or less by accident; his family was actually running a small wine shop. When the neighbouring privately owned brewery Saint-Omer came up for sale in the early 1980s, the Pecqueur family decided to buy it. Back then, annual output came to 50,000 hectolitres, while today André Pecqueur is the sole owner, and produces 3.3 million hectolitres of Pilsner beers there, mainly as dealer’s brands. In this segment, he is the market leader in the French food and beverage retailing sector, accounting for around 70 per cent.

In 2010, he managed to purchase the brand rights and equipment of Brasserie Gayant, with its best-known brand Goudale. At that time, the long-established privately owned brewery was producing 250,000 hectolitres of top-fermented beers. Four years later, the output totalled more than 400,000 hectolitres – and demand kept on growing.

Since the Gayant Brewery had come up against the limits of its capacities, the entrepreneur once again tackled this with hard-headed rigour. The consequence: the new building of Brasserie Gayant, and with a new name, too – Brasserie Goudale.

Tight timeframe

He placed the turnkey order with Krones and invested in an ultra-modern brewery offering a huge array of options both for brewing and for beer-filling. The special features in the brewhouse include: lautering with a high-performance mash filter, variable control of the brewing process even for high-gravity beers, and huge energy savings thanks to the EquiTherm energy recovery system. The filling hall accommodates a high-speed canning line and a non-returnable-glass line, the latter fitted with two fillers, for both 750-millilitre bottles and for small containers. This means no more line change-overs are needed, something which obviously reduces downtimes and upgrades efficiency levels. Furthermore, the bottles can be closed either with crowns, swing-stoppers or natural corks – exactly the right concept for a specialty-beer brewery.

The company’s success has vindicated taste diversity. In 2016, sales of specialty beers from Goudale rose by 26 per cent, which means Goudale is the most significant specialty-beer brand in France – and comes from a group-independent brewery at that.

“To be successful, you need a certain amount of money, but above all good staff, who aren’t shy to take decisions, are fully committed to their job, and who love their work and the products we’re making,” he knows from experience. “Many big companies have their sight pinned only on profits, not on their employees. Bad mistake!”

A friend of swift decisions

Some years ago, Krones had already installed a canning line in the Brasserie Saint-Omer, with which André Pecqueur was very satisfied. So that helped to make his choice an easy one: “Krones was more dynamic and faster than everybody else, and was very keen on handling this project. That’s why they got the order. I like working with people whom I know and I can trust.”


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