“For us, all options are open in the future with the new keg line from KHS. We will continue to remain competitive even when meeting new customer and consumer requirements.”
Richard (Dick) Yuengling, Owner of D.G. Yuengling & Son
The year is 1829: David Gottlieb Jüngling, recently emigrated to America from the German town of Aldingen, establishes his small Eagle Brewery in Pottsville, Pennsylvania where there is a river with good spring water and a flourishing coal industry – and therefore many thirsty miners as customers. He brews his first brand of beer, Traditional Lager, the way he was taught by his father at home. Jüngling anglicizes his name by changing it to Yuengling and quickly finds success, supplying as many as 27 restaurants just three years later.
Some 180 years later – since the second generation, the brewery has been renamed D.G. Yuengling & Son – Traditional Lager still sells extremely well and accounts for around 60% of the output, which in 2013 totaled 3 million barrels. This puts Yuengling in fourth place in the USA – behind Anheuser-Busch, SABMiller, and Pabst. However, in the almost two centuries of its history, the company has had to weather some very turbulent times.
For example, during the Prohibition period, Yuengling switched to small beer, the ice cream from a hurriedly procured dairy, and the management of dance halls in Philadelphia and New York City. Relieved by the lifting of the alcohol ban, in 1933, Yuengling sent Theodore Roosevelt a truck load of beer, free of charge. Whether the president drank it has not been passed on; but what is certain is that Yuengling’s business again took a sharp upswing.
In 1999, the family business reached the limit of its capacity with 750,000 barrels. Richard (Dick) Yuengling, fifth-generation owner, therefore purchased a former brewery in Tampa, Florida and one year later built a new brewery at the company’s headquarters in Pottsville. “This was what we needed for further success,” sums up Yuengling, “and that is the way it has been ever since.”
In 2005, Yuengling invested in a KHS keg line in Pottsville. This has been followed more recently by a further keg system for the Tampa site with a capacity of up to 420 kegs per hour. “Customers value our traditional, craft method of brewing,” says local COO Jim Helmke, justifying the investment. “Therefore, at 30%, our output of keg beer is extremely high considering our size.”
In any event, the high expectations associated with the new line, and which were no doubt fueled by previous experience with outstanding technology and services from KHS, have been fulfilled: “We are very happy with our new keg line,” says Helmke, ending on a positive note. “Yuengling can continue to grow.” The sixth generation is ready and waiting.
New KHS keg line for Yuengling: Main features and plus points
1. Maintenance-friendly design …
… makes the line consistently easy to oversee and to access, and reduces the required number of machine operators to a maximum of three.
2. State-of-the-art articulated arm robots …
… depalletize/palletize the empty/full kegs and flexibly adapt to the respective production speed – smoothly, exactly, and gently. They enable movement sequences to be easily adapted for new keg sizes.
3. Flexible exterior cleaning …
… is carried out by the modular Innokeg AK 5/2 for different keg types without interrupting production.
4. Efficient interior cleaning …
… is carried out by three parallel Innokeg Transomat 5/1 Duo machines, each with two processing segments with five washing and sterilizing stations and one racking station.
5. Low-oxygen filling process …
… based on the DFC filling system with volumetric flow control. Here, pressurization is slightly higher than the degree of CO₂ saturation. This reduces the consumption of carbon dioxide in comparison with traditional filling systems by up to 40 percent.
6. Perfect palletizing …
… with the articulated arm robot. This robot palletizes kegs on the three layers – with eight quarter-barrel kegs or four half-barrel kegs per layer. A downstream film wrapper secures the layers.
The USA formula: Keg = KHS …
… whether classic steel kegs or innovative PETAINER® Keg
Those who talk about kegs in the United States also talk about KHS. For there are dozens and dozens of small, semi-automatic and big, fully automatic keg systems from KHS (up to 1,000 kegs per hour) that have been operating successfully in both large and small breweries in the U.S. for more than 30 years.
Similar to the Yuengling craft brewery – who relied on globally recognized keg technology for the first time in 2005 and has now made the next move by installing another keg line (420 kegs/hour) – the American brewing industry has placed its trust in the know-how, experience, and expertise of the experts from KHS that has grown over many decades.
Professionals from both craft breweries and brewery groups are currently discussing the alternative to the classic, proven steel keg: the PETAINER® Keg. And as might be expected, KHS also offers the right system for processing modern, disposable PETAINER® Kegs – configured according to the needs and requirements of its customers. To get directly to the point: the innovative PETAINER® Keg system from KHS (incorporating large, all-encompassing converters) is revolutionizing cost management in the filling industry:
- as these disposable kegs eliminate the expense of returning, storing, and washing kegs as well as managing deposit money and thus
- decrease logistics costs by 20% to 30% versus steel kegs.
In addition, these practical non-returnable containers enable breweries to respond flexibly to increased sales particularly during peak seasons when steel kegs may be in short supply. On the other hand, the decision for or against PETAINER® Kegs depends on distances the kegs of the respective company have to cover. The rule of thumb: the further the distance, the greater the feasibility of Petainers (nationwide distribution, export).
Decisive factor: What are the Keg systems able to handle?
The good news first: the keg machines from KHS are so flexible that they operate equally as well with disposable containers as they do with conventional refillable steel kegs.
Lines currently in operation are able to optionally process one-way kegs without any extensive changeover work. Should the need arise, the keg service specialists from KHS are ready and willingly to provide fast support.
Now the best news: KHS additionally provides the right system for each individual brewery, since, as we all know, every situation is different. However, all keg systems from KHS have these three basic advantages in common:
- gentle product filling with Direct Flow Control (DFC)
- and energy-saving filling with hot water cascades, which means that the system reuses water several times.
- reusing water several times step by step for internal and external cleaning saves both energy and fresh water