Australia’s first mobile canning business is expected to be available to breweries on the east coast within three to four months.
East Coast Canning has been established by Chris Kelly, an Australian who realised the opportunity while overseas.
He told Australian Brews News that in the US there are now between 30 and 40 mobile canning companies, one of which was founded by a mutual friend in the Pacific Northwest.
“He was running one line two years ago and he’s now running seven lines from Portland to Seattle, seven days a week, and he employs 20 people,” he said.
After spending time overseas researching different canning technologies, Kelly settled on an innovative new model from an undisclosed US supplier he says has a strong pedigree in the area.
“The guys who are building the line, one of them’s a former Anheuser-Busch canning tech,” he said.
Kelly’s background is in radiation science, a profession he says engenders very strong discipline around ensuring a quality product.
“I’ve been doing that for an awful long time and what that means is that quality assurance and quality improvement and quality control is kind of what I nerd out on!” he said.
“We’ll have a level of monitoring that’s pretty unusual in the packaging world in general.”
“All set up and tuned well, the line we’ve got coming will do about ten hectolitres in an hour, so we can get through a fair bit of beer pretty quickly,” he said.
“What that essentially translates to is that we don’t need to be on site for that long at an individual job.
“We’ve got a really neat online booking system so that brewers will be able to see in advance when we’re available in their area,” Kelly said.
Under East Coast Canning’s model, brewers are required to purchase their own cans in advance and ensure they are on site when the line arrives.
Kelly estimates an automated canning line with four or more filling heads requires an investment of at least $300,000, which may be out of reach for many brewers.
As such he said he has already experienced many enquiries from brewers who have learnt about the proposed service over the last 12 months.
“It’s kind of gotten around the industry from just that collegial word of mouth,” he said.
For further enquiries contact Chris Kelly on [email protected].