For 20-plus years Holgate Brewhouse have produced some of Australia’s most-loved beers by matching innovation with tradition and it’s a characteristic they’ve mirrored in their partner brewing services as well.
Through their state-of-the-art facility in Woodend, that’s just an hour outside Melbourne, they’ve been able to utilise all of their know-how and capabilities to assist countless brands get a range of products to market.
In the past that was predominantly a range of beer styles, but by moving with the times, where change has been accelerated by COVID-19, they have added the likes of non-alcoholic and seltzer production to their repertoire of services.
“Despite having been in this game for over 20 years it’s great to keep innovating and to be able to do new things and utilise what we have out our disposal for others,” co-founder Paul Holgate said. “Prior to COVID we were already playing around in the non-alc space and developing our own brand. So when the phones started ringing, with people wanting their own non-alcs, we were in a position to go to the top drawer and say ‘yes, we can do that for you’. While we don’t have our own Holgate seltzer brand it was something that we could turn our skills towards and produce them for a range of clients.
“We now have the ability to produce a range of different products and provide an entire end-to-end service. And we can move quickly too. Because we’re a medium sized operation we’ve got a high degree of flexibility and can bring something to market very, very quickly.”
Holgate have recently reinvested in their already sophisticated high speed can and bottle packaging systems by upgrading them to be fully automatic. By doing so it’s increased their capacity markedly and in turn they can take on even more contracts than before.
And with COVID-19 still wreaking havoc across multiple aspects of the hospitality industry Paul said packaged products would remain king for some time.
“I think the on-premise market is still a stop-start proposition for the time being. So for people wanting to launch, and get in to contract brewing, then it’s a good time in terms of demand for packaged products. For us it’s about being able to do both small seasonal releases, in say the 50hL range very easily, as well as going right up to the 40,000 litre runs.”
At Holgate a fully-automated 50hL Braukon brewhouse, 8,500 bottle per hour state-of-the-art German packaging line and new 6,000 cph canning facility are available for contract brewing and packaging. With a brewlength of 5,000 litres, coupled with a fermentation cellar of 3 x 25hL, 6 x 50hL, 4 x 100hL and 4 x 200hL vessels, and a packaging cellar of 50hL, 200hL and 400hL Bright Tanks, they have the flexibility to provide support for small, medium or large contracts in kegs, bottles and cans.
“It is all top-of-the-line and makes the brewing or packaging process more efficient and consistent,” Paul said. “Another key attribute in the overall service that we provide is our brewing team, some who have been with us for over seven years. That gives us tremendous amounts of experience that businesses can call on.”
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