Next step: the hospitality trade

In the future Gage Roads wishes to generate more sales opportunities for itself in the hospitality trade especially, where the keg plays a key role.  In the medium term the company would like to increase the keg share of the containers it uses from 1% to over 40%. For Heary, namely, there’s no doubt that “brands are built up and expanded to a ­particularly high degree” in restaurants and bars. In ­other words, beer drinkers who take a liking to a brand in their local pub will remain true to this brand as a buyer in the store.

As a result, since its founding Gage Roads has set great store by top quality in every respect in conjunction with the unique character of its specialty beers. Here, the company believes in the professionalism of its employees, procuring the best ingredients and of course utilizing first-class technology when it comes to bottling its products.

Der Außenreiniger ist konsequent von Innenreinigungsstationen und Füllprozess getrennt
Safety doors: the exterior washer is consistently separated from the interior washing stations and the racking process.

A thorough investigation was thus made before deciding to invest in keg technology from KHS. “We studied all the available articles on this machine in the trade press and talked to lots of expert engineers in the brewing industry,” reports Aaron Heary. “We also carefully scrutinized the machine on show at the KHS booth at drinktec 2013: the compact Innokeg CombiKeg system.”

Here, the KHS experts were able to dispel any final doubts. Heary summarizes, “Thanks to our investment in the Innokeg CombiKeg we’re now racking our beer with very little oxygen pickup and thus producing top quality.” This system was thus just what the brewery wanted.  Shortly afterwards the trade show exhibit began its long journey half way around the world. KHS delivered it in its container to Gage Roads fully piped and wired, with the system quickly installed, connected, and up and running.

Keg technology from KHS: a convincing concept

Besides the performance features (see below: Leap into the future) and the high quality of the KHS system Gage Roads were convinced by the following plus points in particular.

  • Compact: as the infeed and discharge conveyors are adjacent to one another, the Innokeg CombiKeg not only saves space but can also be operated by just one person.
  • Sustainable: for example, the system reuses water from the last hot water spray to pre-wash subsequent kegs and for exterior washing. This reduces the amount of wastewater and Gage Roads also saves on fresh water and energy.
  • Precise: the DFC (Direct Flow Control) filling system ensures that the kegs are neither underfilled nor overfilled, which is also a major quality and cost factor.

After a few months in practical operation Aaron Heary is convinced more than ever that “with the Innokeg CombiKeg we’ve made exactly the right decision, also as far as the system’s robustness is concerned.” In Western Australia especially – at the end of the world, so to speak – “plant equipment has to function first and foremost and keep on running throughout its entire life cycle. And if it even has the other mentioned advantages of an ­Innokeg CombiKeg, everything is perfect.”

Setting the course: in the medium and long term, Gage Roads wants to rack 40% of its own brands in kegs.

Leap into the future: time for expansion

Finally, the Innokeg CombiKeg is also suitable for the ambitious plans for expansion the company has. It can rack various sizes of keg holding from 10 to 58 liters. What’s interesting is that the 50-liter steel keg is the Australians’ favorite for very ­pragmatic reasons: beer in kegs holding 48.5 liters or more is more favorably taxed. “Even with an optimistic prognosis for future sales,“ smiles Heary, “the line’s capacity of up to 80 kegs per hour is enough for all time.“

Gage Roads aims to boost production in the next few years. Clear growth is planned in the field of contract filling in particular, the mainstay with which Gage Roads safeguards the company’s economic success and therefore that of its own brands. Brewing non-Australian brands under license would also be feasible. “In doing so we’ll always stay true to our strategy of producing quality without compromise,” promises Aaron Heary. Whatever happens, he can rely on KHS to reliably ­accompany Gage Roads on its road to further success. After all, good things come to those who wait.

Your contact on this topic

Frank Hollmann
Head of Market Zone Asia Pacific
KHS GmbH, Bad Kreuznach, Germany

Phone: +49 671 852-2888

Rainer Deutschmann
Director Global Product Account Management Kegging
KHS GmbH, Bad Kreuznach, Germany

Phone: +49 671 852 2977

Kurt Hofmann
Managing Director KHS Pacific Pty. Ltd.
Tullamarine, VIC, Australia

Phone: +61 39335 1331