Craft beer canning machines are used by small and medium sized breweries to can their beer for distribution. This equipment allows craft brewers to package their products in cans instead of only bottles or kegs. Canning expands market reach and sales channels for these specialty beers.
Key Features of Craft Beer Canners
|Fill and seam up to 30 cans per minute
|Compact models for microbreweries; larger inline systems for bigger production
|Automatic; Simple controls; Easy changeover between beers
|12 and 16 oz standard; Sleek cans; Custom shapes/sizes
|Standard lids; Peel off; Resealable lids
|$10,000 to $100,000 depending on automation and outputs
- Canning extends shelf life compared to bottles
- Cans are lighter, reducing shipping costs
- Consumers find cans more portable and convenient
- Allows wider distribution to stores, events, festivals
- Higher upfront equipment investment than bottling
- Need inventory and supply chain for empty cans
- Staff training required on operation and maintenance
Craft Beer Canning Process
Canning craft beer involves filling sterile cans with beer and seaming on pre-cut lids. The key steps include:
- Cans are loaded into a hopper
- Cans are fed into the filler
- Beer is filled to the correct level in each can
- A foam control system removes excess foam
- Lids are placed on full cans
- The seamer seals on the lids with a double seam
- CO2 is injected to purge oxygen and pressurize the cans
- Filled cans are released onto a conveyor or accumulation table
Monitoring fill level, dissolved oxygen, seam inspection, and labeling happens inline between steps.
Choosing a Craft Beer Canning System
Consider the following when selecting a canning machine:
|Match peak production capacity
|Level required to simplify operation
|Accommodate facility space and layout
|Easy and quick between beer varieties
|CIP spray balls or manual washdown
|Local installer and technician access
|Factor in all additional supplies and costs
Leading Craft Beer Canning Machine Manufacturers
|Cask Brewing Systems
|$10,000 to $100,000
|Benchtop, automatic, mobile systems
|Wild Goose Canning
|$40,000 to $150,000
|Meheen, Gosling semi-automatic, inline systems
|Palmer Canning Systems
|$15,000 to $250,000+
|Mobile lid placers to highspeed inline
|Manual, automatic, custom solutions
How long does it take to can one batch of beer?
Depending on automation and beer style, a full batch of beer can be canned every 1 to 1.5 hours.
What gas is used when canning craft beer?
Carbon dioxide (CO2) is injected into the filled cans to purge oxygen and create ideal carbonation levels.
What are the advantages of a mobile canning system?
Mobile canners allow you to bring canning services onsite to your brewery for occasional runs without needing to invest in equipment. They handle setup, operation, takedown and often labeling.
Does beer taste different in cans versus bottles?
When packaged correctly, there should be minimal taste impact. Cans better protect against light damage but could impart a metallic flavor if fill heights and DO levels aren’t controlled properly.
Equipping your craft brewery with a canning machine opens up opportunities for getting your beers into new locations and the hands of more consumers. Compact benchtop systems provide affordable low capacity options whereas customizable automatic machines offer hands-free sanitary filling ideal for large packaging runs. Considering output requirements, beer varieties, production layout, and budget will ensure you select the best canner to meet craft brewery goals.