Colorado's breweries are growing fast -- expanding, adding employees and ordering new equipment. Some of that equipment is on display at the industry-only Craft Brewers Conference, a trade show in Denver for the first time this week.
For some of the breweries, like Durango's Ska Brewing and Denver Beer Co, this is the first time that the owners have had a chance to see their new, completed toys in person.
"It's very exciting," says Ska co-owner Dave Thibodeau, after ogling his massive new canning line from CFT Packaging/SBC Bottling & Canning in Vernon Hills, Illinois. Ska has been struggling to keep up with demand over the past year, so the new line will help increase not just its output but the efficiency of its brewery. Charlie Berger and Patrick Crawford of Denver Beer Co also headed to the Colorado Convention Center to check out their brand-new, thirty-barrel brewhouse, which is on display at the booth for Prince Edward Island-based Diversified Metal Engineering. "The cool part about DME is that they work with you on everything," Berger says, listing the various custom parts that the company had installed for Denver Beer Co. Prost Brewing has purchased a bottling line from Meheen Manufacturing, which can package thirty-to-forty bottles per minute. The small piece of equipment is modular, points out Prost president Dave Meheen, who was showing it off at CBC on Wednesday. That means a second line can be connected to it if Prost expands. Prost will begin bottling three of its core beers -- Dunkel, Weissbier, and Pils -- in twelve-ounce bottles this month and distributing them to liquor stores. And High Hops Brewing in Windsor has acquired a small canning line from Cask Brewing Systems out of Calgary, Canada, which can handle fifteen or so cans per minute.
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