Traverse City Record-Eagle

Business

June 24, 2014

Short's updates bottling line

ELK RAPIDS — The air at Short’s Brewing Company’s Elk Rapids bottling plant was warm and citrusy when brewery employees stacked cases of Key Lime Pie beer into neat piles.

Short’s employees bottled 800 cases of the award-winning beer, almost 20,000 bottles, in just 3.5 hours, thanks to the company’s new bottling and packaging line. The task would have taken more than eight hours just two months ago.

“We’re doing 150 bottles per-minute,” said Short’s Sustainability Specialist Matt Gacioch. “It’s really, really big growth, over 10 times more than what we were doing when we first opened this facility five years ago.”

Short’s spent $1.55 million on a new bottling and packaging line that increased the company’s production by 300 percent at its Elk Rapids production facility, where the company makes its beer for distribution.

It’s the third machine Short’s used to package its beer. It can churn out 100 more bottles per-minute than the equipment it replaced and 138 more than the original equipment used when the production facility opened in 2008.

The shiny new mechanics aren’t just good for the bottom line, they're good for the brew. Tyler Glaze, brewery operations manager, said the new line’s “double pre-evacuation” technique of sucking oxygen out of bottles to pump in more carbon dioxide means Short’s bottled beer will be even better.

“The filler fills with much better quality. The beer no longer takes up as much oxygen when it’s filled,” Glaze said. “It extends our shelf life by a long period of time – months more shelf life.”

The new process also is more efficient so more of the brewery’s beer gets into bottles and onto store shelves. The old bottle filler leaked beer through a hose, leading to cases worth of beer and hundreds of dollars lost.

Text Only

the BIZ

AP Video
Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide