Patti Engineering, a leader in control systems integration, announced details of its engineering support for the installation and commissioning of a new Krones bottling line for Texas regional craft brewer, Real Ale Brewing Company. Real Ale Brewing has wide spread Texas distribution of its handcrafted ales and has experienced consistent double digit growth, year over year.
Real Ale Brewing invested in the new bottling line to meet growth demands, and statistics look good for continued growth for the company, as well as for other regional craft brewers across the country. According to the Brewers Association, despite the 2013 1.9 percent decrease in overall beer sales in the U.S., craft beer sales grew 17.2 percent; the niche market is now worth $14.3 billion dollars.
For the installation of the new bottling line, Real Ale Brewing hired Patti Engineering for its controls engineering expertise to supplement its in-house team. The scope of services provided by Patti Engineering’s Austin, TX office included the design of the wire gutter and basket system, and specification of purchasing and routing requirements for cabling the variable frequency drives (VFD’s), motor starters, and all of the I/O sensors. C.H. Electrical of Austin installed Patti Engineering’s design. Patti Engineering also assisted with reprogramming an existing vision inspection system that was repurposed from the original bottling line.
The new bottling line was successfully commissioned in early August, quadrupling Real Ale Brewing’s bottling speed from 100 bottles per minute to 400 bottles per minute, positioning the company to continue to meet growth demands. “The success of this project is a direct reflection of the dedication, diligence and team effort of our Director of Brewing Operations, Tim Schwartz, our Maintenance Manager, Gary Turnquist, and our local partners, Patti Engineering and C.H. Electrical," commented Real Ale Brewing’s President, Brad Farbstein.
Real Ale Brewing is known in Texas for its flagship ales and lagers including Firemans #4, Devil’s Backbone, and bold seasonal brews such as Phoenixx Double ESB and Coffee Porter. Co-owners Farbstein and his wife Gabriel Gregerman, along with Real Ale Brewing employees, recently celebrated 18 years in business.
Farbstein purchased the brewery in 1998 when it was only in its second year of operation and producing just 300 barrels of beer a year. The company now produces 60,000 barrels of beer a year, has 42 employees, $12 million in annual sales, and is nationally ranked among the largest regional craft brewers. "For us it is not about moving boxes or units, instead it is about enjoying our passion and focusing on brewing quality beer. Our passionate and dedicated team of employees makes Real Ale Brewing Company the success that it is today," Farbstein explained.
“Real Ale Brewing Company is one of the many great small businesses that we at Patti Engineering are proud to serve, and we are honored to be part of the network of local resources they count on to keep their business moving forward,” commented Steve Palmgren, vice president of operations for Patti Engineering’s Texas office.