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    Ultra-modern brewery for Brasserie Goudale
    Ultra-modern brewery for Brasserie Goudale

      In the north of France, an ultra-modern brewery with an annual filling capacity of two million hectolitres was erected under the aegis of Krones: Brasserie Goudale is the response to a trend observable on the French market towards new beverage specialties, and will be concentrating on making top-fermented niche beers.

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      The thoroughbred entrepreneur André Pecqueur went into brewing more or less by accident; his family was actually running a small wine shop. When the neighbouring privately owned brewery Saint-Omer came up for sale in the early 1980s, the Pecqueur family decided to buy it.

      In 2010, he managed to purchase the brand rights and equipment of Brasserie Gayant, with its best-known brand Goudale. At that time, the long-established privately owned brewery was producing 250,000 hectolitres of top-fermented beers. Four years later, the output totalled more than 400,000 hectolitres – and demand kept on growing.

      Since the Gayant Brewery had come up against the limits of its capacities, the entrepreneur once again tackled this with hard-headed rigour. The consequence: the new building of Brasserie Gayant, and with a new name, too – Brasserie Goudale.

      Packed time schedule

      André Pecqueur confesses: “I have a reputation for always being in a hurry with everything.” This is evidenced not least by the speed at which he translated his idea of producing large quantities of top-fermented specialty beers in a completely new brewery into tangible reality: a mere 19 months meant the project’s time schedule was packed indeed. “To tell the truth, this time schedule was theoretically impossible to meet,” admits André Pecqueur, “but together we did it.”

      He placed the turnkey order with Krones and invested in an ultra-modern brewery offering a huge array of options both for brewing and for beer-filling. The special features in the brewhouse include: lautering with a high-performance mash filter, variable control of the brewing process even for high-gravity beers, and huge energy savings thanks to the EquiTherm energy recovery system. The filling hall accommodates a high-speed canning line and a non-returnable-glass line, the latter fitted with two fillers, for both 750-millilitre bottles and for small containers. This means no more line change-overs are needed, something which obviously reduces downtimes and upgrades efficiency levels. Furthermore, the bottles can be closed either with crowns, swing-stoppers or natural corks – exactly the right concept for a specialty-beer brewery.

      A friend of swift decisions

      Some years ago, Krones had already installed a canning line in the Brasserie Saint-Omer, with which André Pecqueur was very satisfied. So that helped to make his choice an easy one: “Krones was more dynamic and faster than everybody else, and was very keen on handling this project. That’s why they got the order. I like working with people whom I know and I can trust.”

      Turnkey for him also means putting responsibility in a single source: “That’s simpler than dividing it all up. Krones is on top of everything a new brewery needs, and their staff have demonstrated that they can handle this immense workload even within a minimised timeframe. And the fact that Krones Belgium, in particular, can draw upon plenty of experience with specialty breweries was an additional bonus,” emphasises André Pecqueur.

      More than six million hectolitres of beer

      And since everything went like clockwork during the construction phase and sales continue to be high, the Goudale project is now entering its second phase – with capacity upsizing by another million hectolitres. For this, André Pecqueur will once again be investing in kit from Steinecker for producing the beer and in Krones machines for filling it, but this time for bottom-fermented Pilsner beers as dealer’s brands. The plan is for Goudale II with another new building on 12,000 square metres to be completed in July 2018.

      Complete brewery

      Selected machines and solutions