Shipping Container Microbreweries: Beer in a Really Big Can
Craft beer is awesome. Shipping containers are awesome. Craft beer being brewed in shipping container breweries? That’s just next level wizardry, but it’s exactly what’s starting to happen as the shipping container microbrewery revolution starts to take hold on city streets around the world. Container brewing systems allow you the opportunity to start or scale up your brewing with lower costs than using or building a new structure. The benefits are virtually endless:
- They don’t take up as much space as a traditional brewing operation
- They are fully mobile and don’t need to be disassembled to move to a new location
- They are fully scaleable, as production increases simply add another containerised facility and you are good to go
- Should you choose to cease brewing, the facility can easily be sold to another brewer.
Check out these 5 innovative microbreweries housed in shipping containers:
1. Stones Throw Brewing Company, Fairhaven
No, not the record label run by the infamous Peanut Butter Wolf. Instead, Stones Throw Brewing is a microbrewery that is housed in not one but, what appears to be, four second hand shipping containers. These 40 foot shipping containers are laid out in a “T” configuration of three 20 foot containers side by side, and a 40 foot shipping container. Prior to placement they were customised with both doors and windows and, we assume, an electrical and plumbing fit out.
See more in the video below
They were then transported to their suburban location (look at all those nearby houses) before being lowered into position with a crane. According to the forums at Ratebeer, the owners will also be erecting a sound shield to keep the brewery quiet on the outside and avoid disturbing their neighbours.
2. Czech Modular Brewery Containers
These commercially produced “breweries in a box” have all you need to start up your own, small yet commercial scale brewery in a variety of different sized shipping containers. This allows real life gypsy brewers to pick up and move their brewery to virtually any location on the planet that it accessible by helicopter, truck, train or ship. Systems like this allow business owners such as cafes, small scale brewers or restaurants to scale up their brewing operations without having to move premises or construct additional buildings. Turnkey operations such as these allow you to start brewing almost as soon as the container has been delivered and hooked up to the power and water supply.
3. 512 Brewing, Austin – Texas
512 Brewing is a craft beer brewer that specialises in making beer in aged wooden casks. As part of the process the beer is left to age, meaning that they require a whole load of space to stack and securely store their beer while it turns into liquid gold (or brown for you stout drinkers). Rather than creating a standalone brewery inside a container they built racking that allowed them to store the wooden barrels long term, and the shipping containers could be easily locked while they waited. Excess capacity could be increased simply by adding more shipping containers, which if necessary (due to space constraints) could be stacked. Craft brewers often start small, and increase rapidly when they become popular, so this excess storage space is handy for almost any budding brewer.
4. Microbrewery in the UK using a Reefer
It’s not exactly clear which microbrewery in the UK is using this refrigerated “reefer” shipping container as a beer cellar, but the results are impressive. According to the team that built it, a shipping container company in the UK, their client needed somewhere where beer could be stored at 2 degrees celsius and a shipping container was perfect. They took a banged up 20 foot shipping container and completely refurbished it – first removing the old non operational refrigeration units, then cleaning up and painting the entire container. The refrigeration units were replaced and installed, then wooden cladding, decking and plants were added to give it a clean exterior appearance.
5. Northern Alchemy, Newcastle upon Tyne
Northern Alchemy is a microbrewery operating out of a modified 30 foot long shipping container (we think they probably meant a more common 40 foot container). They didn’t have enough room in the pub, so a shipping container was the obvious choice. They were able to completely self fund their brewing startup without any bank loans, partially due to their choice of building material. They focus on what we’d call “craft beer” but to them, it’s just a damn good drop. With Passionfruit sours, Black IPAs, Spiced Pumpkin and more, they are giving their pub in the UK a real taste of what the West Coast craft beer scene in the USA is like. All because they started with a humble shipping container and some wild ideas!
Are you crazy about hops and want to get into brewing?
Then a shipping container might just be the ideal place to build your own brewers laboratory. They are cheap, stackable and scalable – making them perfect for creating your very own brewing start up. Contact the team at Gateway Container Sales and Hire now to discuss what the ideal container might be, whether its a smaller 10 foot box, an insulated reefer, a huge 40 footer, or a combination of all three. Regardless of what you choose, the team will help you though the process, putting you in touch with the right advisors to get the job done. We’ll want to taste the beer when you are all done though!