Founded in 2019, the Australian craft brewers showed early on that fun and professionalism in brewing are not mutually exclusive – because for their entry into the market, the then newcomers chose an unusual path: Instead of initially relying on contract canning, they operated their own small canning line right from the start. But it soon became clear – to their good fortune – that demand for Mountain Culture's beers was soaring, so the existing machines quickly came up against the limits of their capacities.
It's a milestone for Krones filling technology: The Craftmate C has already been sold 100 times since it was launched just six and a half years ago. The anniversary machine recently embarked on its journey to Mountain Culture Beer Co. in Australia.
Therefore, the team decided to increase capacities just two years later. The search for a suitable partner led them to Krones in 2021. “Mountain Culture was experiencing such rapid growth that we knew we needed to obtain equipment bigger than what we had originally thought. We started to look for a company that we could grow with, that also had a reputation for excellent quality to match our reputation”, says DJ McCready, co-founder of Mountain Culture.
Mountain Culture brews a wide range of different craft beer styles: from classic IPA and Pale Ale varieties to lagers right through to typical European beers such as Pilsner, Schwarzbier, or Märzen. What they all have in common is a clear focus on top product quality – And that's exactly why the Craftmate is ideal for canning, as DJ McCready reports, “I’m a co-founder but I’m also a brewer, so my number one priority has always been the quality of our beers – At Mountain Culture, we pride ourselves on producing the best-quality beer in Australia. The Craftmate filler is known for packaging beer with super-low dissolved oxygen pickup, which is extremely handy given the hop-forward styles of beers Mountain Culture has become famous for.”
But before the new machines can go into operation, they first had to embark on an approximately eight-week journey: In late June, delivery started from Neutraubling (or, in the case of the labeler, from Roverbella in Italy). Krones' service team will then begin installation and commissioning in early September. The first cans ready for sale are scheduled to roll off the line in October.
The recipe for success of the Craftmate C
The Craftmate C for Mountain Culture is something very special not only for the Australian craft brewery, but also for Krones because it is already the 100th can filler for the low output range that Krones has delivered since its market launch in late 2015. Product Manager Philipp Schön sums up the Craftmate’s popularity in one sentence: “When they order a Craftmate, our customers get a filler for the small output range at a fair price – and can at the same time rely on the proven technology and hygiene standards of Krones’ large can filler series.” A strategy that is paying off, as a glance at the sales figures proves: A good half of the machines have so far gone to North and Central America, but the Craftmate C is also very popular in Asia and Western Europe.
However, the target group is by no means limited to craft breweries – although these account for more than two thirds of customers so far. The clients also include producers of wine/sparkling wine, water, spirits, and CSDs.
In the meantime, Krones has expanded its portfolio for the compact sector as well. Since 2017, there has also been a Craftmate G glass filler, which with its output of 24,000 containers per hour likewise appeals to smaller beverage producers and has been developed along the same design principle as the C model.