Butcombe Brewery is a pioneer in craft brewing that boasts an impressive variety of craft brews, including Pale Ale, Indian Pale Ale (IPA), cider, and lager. From the very beginning, the brewery has been flexible in its product development, constantly responding to changing tastes and trends. The result is a range of beers that includes creative seasonal beer varieties - much to the delight of local and international beer lovers.
Rising demand and growing sales figures demonstrate how well established the brand is. Since their expansion in 2017, Butcombe has been bottling their own brews and other breweries beers as a contract bottler. To cope with the increase in production, Butcombe needed the right equipment and decided on a new labelling machine. The Brewer favored Gernep's Soluta 10-640 3SK model, equipped with three state-of-the-art self-adhesive labelling aggregates to effectively apply body, back, and neck ring labels to 30cl, and 50cl long neck glass bottles.
Craft beers are known for their eye-catching looks. Their taste and colorful graphic appearance really stand out from the large-scale industrially produced beers. The key feature which makes craft brews recognizable and adds to their shelf appeal is their labelling, hence the importance of perfect label positioning, and Gernep's Soluta offers just that. Currently labelling 12,000 bottles per hour Butcombe Brewery's Packaging Supervisor, Miles Hay is enthusiastic about the labelers performance: " Gernep has a solid reputation on the brewing scene. For our plant size and bottling volume, they were the obvious choice for new labelleing equipment." The Brewer has produced 10 million perfectly labelled beers since first commissioning the Soluta in 2018, highlighting their success. Likewise, Gernep has lived up to its reputation and delivered a high-quality machine perfectly suited to the customer's needs.
Easy operational handling - a convincing factor for Butcombe
Another deciding factor leading to the purchase was the labeler's ease of operation. In contrast to German breweries which prefer wet glue labelling, many UK companies prefer self-adhesive labelling. To ensure a smooth production flow without disruptions, Brewers in the UK favor empty container labelling, as self-adhesive labelling does not offer optimal adherence to humid or wet bottles. Gernep's Soluta 10-640 3SK is the standard brewery machine proposed on the UK market for these reasons. It is also popular among UK brewers because it provides state-of-the-art technology while remaning user-friendly and intuitive to operate. Production can be set via the large, swiveling HMI on the machine and the smaller displays on the labelling stations themselves. "The machine's design facilitates new operators' training," says Hay with conviction. This means that staff turnover can be compensated quickly, and training times and costs are kept to a minimum. Gernep also offers training courses to teach employees how to operate the machine on-site if desired.
Soluta's simplicity in design also permits operators to perform quick and effective toolless changeovers. Bottle and label changes are carried out swiftly, keeping downtimes at a minimum which is particularly advantageous for brewers with a broad product portfolio like Butcombe's.
Regular maintenance increases the service life
Machine breakdowns are probably the worst thing that can happen during operation. It is highly advisable to perform routine maintenance to ensure top performance and long service life. That is why Butcombe relies on annual maintenance by qualified Gernep staff. The result of this regular exchange with Gernep also prompted Butcombe to rebuild its labeller last year, converting its existing three self-adhesive labelling stations to double reels. Now, two label reels are mounted on each labelling station instead of one, increasing production efficiency by shortening changeover times. Miles Hay recommends the German labelling machine manufacturer's service: "Gernep's service stands out compared to their competitors. The team members are immediately available for any requests and work efficiently on solutions and improvements."
As a result, the Butcombe Brewery successfully bottled and labelled two million liters of beer in 2021! They aim to further increase their volume in the future. Gernep asserts its prominence on the international brewing scene by contributing to Butcombe's and other brewers' success stories.