Automation Accelerates Beer Production

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Automation and a focus on reliable processes are at the core of a craft-beer business that grew from a hobby to a full-time pursuit in less than 10 years.

By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Efficient Plant Magazine

Jason Roeper grew up watching and learning from his uncle, a hobbyist home brewer. The day he turned 21, Roeper went to his uncle’s house and brewed his first batch of beer. He honed his craft and, in 2007, submitted his unblended Elderberry Lambic, “Straight Up,” to the Sam Adams Longshot Competition. He was named a finalist, which inspired him to pursue his dream of becoming a craft-beer brewer. In 2009, after being laid off from a corporate job, Roeper translated his longtime vision into a business plan and began the Rivertown Brewing Company in Lockland, OH. In 2017, he expanded to a larger space in Monroe, OH, and rebranded the business Rivertown Brewery & Barrel House (rivertownbrewery.com), which now covers 31,000 sq. ft., including the manufacturing facility and a barbeque restaurant and pub. With a 417-barrel fleet, the company produces 28,000 barrels of beer in 28 flavor varieties annually, and distributes in 37 U.S. states. Follow this link to read the full story. 

Bourbon Boom Drives Distillery Expansion

Historic Kentucky spirits manufacturer doubles production capacity with minimal increase in physical space.
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By Michelle Segrest, Navigate Content, Inc. - Reporting for Efficient Plant Magazine

Nestled on the scenic Salt River in Lawrenceburg, KY, sits a unique distillery with Spanish mission-style architecture. Four Roses Distillery began producing bourbon on this site in 1910. Bottling and single-story rack warehousing are handled at a second facility at nearby Cox’s Creek.  Rich in tradition and history, Four Roses handcrafts 10 distinct bourbon recipes and is one of the largest bourbon manufacturers in Kentucky, a state that produces 95% of the world’s supply. Managers at the 130-yr.-old company decided, in 2015, to embark on a plant expansion that would double its yearly capacity from 4-million to 8-million proof gallons. The decision to expand was based on increasing and projected industry growth, but the plans included only a limited increase in square footage. Strategic space planning became an essential element. Follow this link to read the full story.