Last year South Australian brewer Coopers introduced Coopers 62 named after 1862, the year Thomas Cooper founded the brewery. This year has hit another 62-related milestone, for the first time brewing 62 million litres of beer.
In the 12 months to June 30, Coopers produced a record 62 million litres of beer, the first time in the company’s 148 year history it has brewed more than 60 million litres a year. The brewery has announced that it will introduce a permanent second shift in September to deal with this record demand for its beers.
Coopers Managing Director, Dr Tim Cooper, said the increased production was a result of strong ongoing sales growth across Australia which had tipped the production balance to the stage that a permanent second shift was now required. This has involved the recruitment of eight new employees in production and engineering.
“For some years now we have run an additional shift from October until Christmas to boost stock levels ahead of the busy summer and Christmas periods,” he said.
“In more recent times, we have also run an additional shift for 12 weeks in the New Year to cope with post-Christmas demand.
“This year we extended the post-Christmas second shift until May because of the exceptional take-up of our new lagers, Coopers Clear and Coopers 62, and ongoing demand for our traditional products, Coopers Pale Ale and Sparkling Ale, particularly interstate.
“We now believe the time has come to make the second shift a permanent feature and this will commence from early September.”
Dr Cooper said a number of changes were being made in the production area ahead of the second shift commencing, with the introduction of additional equipment, including a new depalletiser and Kisters packer, capable of increasing the packaging speed from 50 cartons per minute up to 80 cartons per minute.
Dr Cooper said that with the second shift, Coopers would be able to produce up to 90 million litres of beer a year.
He said that based on current growth, the second shift would be able to meet demand for the next six years before consideration would have to be given to introducing a third shift or adding a second bottling line.