Brewing up nicely

The team at Food & Drink Technology has just spent two days at Brau Beviale – the exhibition that focuses on the technology, operations and business issues in the global world of beverage production.

Brau Beviale is the place to discover new technologies, meet friends old and new, as well as play a part in the future of the beverage world.

There were a number of takeaways from the event, but three stood out:

Small and microbreweries and a steadily growing craft beer scene in Germany and across the world

Probably the most prominent barrier to buy-in in the craft beer area is the need to produce beers and other brewed products on the right scale via brewery equipment. Few industries have more pressing capital needs than brewing. From the kettles and stills, canning and bottling lines to supplementary equipment required to wash all of these devices, brewers must fill their facilities with a wide variety of expensive and complex machinery.

Several exhibitors presented brewers with equipment that (a) will remain in good condition for the long haul; (b) addresses the cost of maintenance work; and (c) helps the brewer respond to shifting demand, providing flexible equipment that can switch to brewing different products quickly, as well as maintaining access to all the ingredients necessary to create each product on their list.

Natural, functional, pure

Consumers want natural products. Naturalness has been gathering pace in both the food and drink sectors driven by an increased focus on health and wellness. This turn away from artificial ingredients prompted many to showcase beverages that are not only natural and functional but also have an added health benefit – be it low alcohol or non-alcoholic beers, naturally cloudy beverages and non-alcoholic shandies; even beer-mix concepts, and reduced-sugar beer-mix variants.

Essences too are entering the market. These are beverages based on natural mineral water with added fruit extracts.

Sustainability, digitilisation and automation

Digitalisation, optimisation and sustainability are on everyone’s lips. What will fundamentally change in terms of packaging for beverages?

Regardless of what beverage type you produce, a reliable operation is paramount to success. The halls had numerous exhibitors demonstrating technologies to help with digitalisation of the beverage industry, such as process control systems for integrated digitised businesses to conveying systems to reduce downtime, noise and energy consumption.

From a sustainability point of view, there is a huge call for mono-materials for recycling.

Calls to make packaging more environmentally friendly were addressed by looking at how much packaging we really need, and how materials can be either improved or reduced. A key theme was recycling, in other words, finding the right way to collect packaging, dispose of it, and re-use it.

As a number of companies have already reported to us,Brau Beviale stands alone in its ability to draw crowds and yield significant results.

As a media partner for the show, we will offer a full review in the next edition of the magazine, so if you have any news relating to your attendance, then please do get in contact.

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