We now move into a much-anticipated segment of the podcast series, and that is Brewery Equipment Sourcing. Another 4 episode segment that includes conversations with Brewery Consultants, Equipment Brokers & Manufacturers & Installers based here in Australia and China. We cover topics such as the minimum equipment requirements a brewery owner needs, the added benefits of other equipment if you have it in your budget, improving brew day efficiencies with multi vessel system set ups and important considerations around brewery space layout.


PART 1 – NEIL PLAYFOOT FROM ASIAN BEER NETWORK

We now move into a much-anticipated segment of the podcast series, and that is Brewery Equipment Sourcing. Another 4-episode segment that includes conversations with a Brewery Consultants, Equipment Brokers & Manufacturers & Installers based here in Australia and China.

Our first episode of the segment, I sit down with Neil Playfoot from Asian Beer Network. Neil has over 20 years industry experience working in both brewpubs and production breweries on a wide range of brewing systems across many different countries including the UK, France, Bermuda and China. Currently based in China, Neil now provides Brewery Consulting services and can act as a man on the ground for people outside of mainland China for sourcing equipment.

This chat with Neil was so informative and gave me so many different ideas and perspectives on when thinking about picking the right location, how to set up a brewery and considering the different brewery system arrangements to maximise production output.


PART 2 – JOHN GONZALES FROM BESPOKE BREWING SOLUTIONS

In this episode I chat with John Gonzales from Bespoke Brewing Solutions. Originally from Austin, Texas, and at the age of 24 back in 2007 he found himself relocating to China within the IT & Logistics space. During this time he found himself occasionally supplying Stainless steel growlers and soon began building some good connections with people within the brewing industry. In 2014, John started Bespoke Brewing Solutions along with other experienced industry professionals, for the past 6 years now they have been designing breweries and installing equipment all over the world with a good solid list of clients now here in Australia.

 

Just like Neil from Asian Beer Network in Part 1 of this segment, John offers some cracking information on what to be thinking about when setting up your brewery and the important considerations when picking the shiny bits of stainless to start brewing on. Having a good repertoire of clients here in Australia, John offers some great insights about the current and future outlook of the craft beer industry in Australia as well.


PART 3 – JULIAN SANDERS FROM SPARK BREWERIES & DISTILLERIES

In today’s episode I chat with Julian Sanders from Spark Breweries & Distilleries based in Melbourne, VIC. Spark started providing services to the brewery industry back in 2014 who primarily provide systems from 5HL right up to the production scale 80HL brewhouses. Having a background in Engineering and Commerce Julian honed in on his craft and vision for what has become the modern day Spark business by spending time over in the UK absorbing their real ale culture while doing some practical engineering by day. He then found his way back to Oz, studying everything craft beer. He soon became a beer judge and helped at various beer events so it was only natural that he combine his two passions to become a brewery and distillery design engineer.

Spark started making a bit of noise in both the Australian market and international ones after developing a snug, low foot print, 2 vessel stackable brewhouse system called the SPARK K500 which earnt Julian and his team an international patent for which has become a hit to the brewpubs of this world supplying 5 & 10HL systems in this compact model to nano breweries for pubs, clubs, cafes and even seriously keen homebrewers with big garages.

Julian provides some great insights on what brewery model concepts that neatly tie into the decisions you can then make on the types of systems and equipment you should be looking for. Having been involved in over 40 brewery installs in his career in the industry, Julian is very well placed to provide aspiring brewery owners advice and perspectives on what to consider when purchasing equipment for their brewery.


PART 4 – GAVIN VAN VUUREN FROM SYNERGY CUSTOM SOLUTIONS

The final episode of the Brewery Equipment Sourcing segment. I chat with Gavin Van Vuuren from Synergy Custom Solutions. Originally from South Africa and another IT background convert, Gavin spent too many years in IT Project Management which began to eat away at his sanity. Through a friend he discovered brewing, distilling and packaging equipment and fell in love with the industry.

 

Synergy Custom Solutions provides complete brewery consulting and equipment services for the Brewing industry and are an approved supplier of Tiantai brewing equipment which was the Chinese manufacturer that the Black Hops boys started out with on their brewery journey.

 

Following suit with other episodes in this segment, however Gavin also dives into some details around Freight considerations when dealing with overseas manufacturers as well.