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Kaiju! commissioning new brewhouse

Kaiju! Beer is installing a new three vessel brewhouse to increase capacity as it bids to hit 1 million litres produced in this financial year.

After modifying the original 25hL brewhouse to increase efficiencies, Kaiju! had reached the limited of that system and needed to grow to meet demand, with sales of Kaiju! Krush alone growing by 35%.

The new brewhouse is a three vessel 50hL system, with a new mill and new boiler. It is expected to up and running in four to six weeks.

“The frustration when your equipment isn’t quite up to the task is just not worth it,” Callum Reeves, who founded Kaiju! with his brother Nat, tells Beer & Brewer.

“Going from 25 to 50hL is a big part of it, but also the fact that we have three vessels means that the time between the brews is much quicker as well. We should be able to get a lot more beer out of it. I think we’ll run out of space at the brewery for fermenters before we max out the capacity of the brewhouse.

“Although, it’ll probably happened at about the same time, which works in some ways!”

The new brewhouse is part of a growth strategy at the brewery that has been expanding constantly since the end of 2016. In early 2018, Kaiju! expanded into a second building next door as it struggled to fit its extra fermenters in. All brewing is taking place in the original site, with the second building devoted to packaging, cold storage and outward logistics.

“We were able to take over the building, doubling our floor space just by knocking a hole in the wall between the two factories,” adds Reeves. “We now have enough space for considerably more expansion, although I won’t make promises about how long it will be before we are on the lookout again.

“I was able to find the second hand boiler of a decent size and quality that we bought and we’re just waiting for that to arrive from Tasmania. That will mean that we’ve got enough power for the brewhouse.”

The original brewhouse is still operational while the new one is constructed because Kaiju! “can’t afford a single day down at the moment”.

“We didn’t want to contract brew our beers for a period of time,” says Reeves. “We’re pretty steadfast about making the beers ourselves.

“We’ve built a new space for it and that’s all going in and that’s going to be fully commissioned. The other brewhouse will still be producing beer until we’re happy with that we’re getting exactly the right results out of the new brewhouse and only then will we shift over to the new one 100%. Then we’ll start looking at moving the old brewhouse out.”

Further expansions are under consideration, such as expanding or replacing the current canning line, but that remains at “very early planning at this stage”.

Kaiju! is also planning on opening a brewpub in mid-2020, with the planning application currently awaiting confirmation. The location will be announced when planning is granted,

“Hopefully somewhere in the south east of Melbourne still, not too far away from where we are now,” says Reeves. “Maybe a bit closer to the city.”

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