St Austell Brewing Company

Client: St Austell Brewing Company – New Hare House Brewery for Bath Ales
Brief: New four-vessel Brewhouse
Duration: 12 Months

When the St Austell Brewing Company announced ambitious plans to deliver a new brewhouse for Bath Ales in Warmley, Musk was engaged to design, manufacture and install a state-of-the-art new, four-vessel brewhouse.

A first-class facility

The delivery of Hare Brewery was part of a multi-million pound investment which required Musk to deliver a sophisticated brewhouse with the capability to produce up to 50,000 brewers’ barrels of beer, the equivalent of approximately 14.5 million pints a year. This effectively doubled the available brewing capacity.

The ‘exam question’ was to provide a modern rapid batch brewery with a high-level of automation that would also maintain a quality product. This project demonstrated that a British engineer can produce a market leading brewery packed with innovations such as efficient cost-saving drives. One example of innovation on this project was the design and manufacture of flexible hop infusion vessels capable of coping with a wide range of recipes. It was an essential requirement that an in-line operation was achieved that would not affect the turn-around time for the brews.  A bespoke design was provided where the whole hops are retained in a fully flooded vertical cylindrical tank which spreads clarified wort over leaf hops for maximum aroma and pressures the cell to maintain a constant wort level. A conical sieve for hop leaf separation was used and a sealed system with a ‘loop-seal’ and anti-vacuum protection device.

Musk conducted a feasibility study and produced an initial design. We reviewed the base recipes for the brewery and built the specification from this information. We also produced a utilisation diagram which ensures the most efficient operation of the Brewery; this included analysing the brewery work flow along with the available space and establishing an effective work flow from ‘Goods in’ to ‘Beers out’, dealing with waste along the way.

The brewery location presented some challenges; we had to work within the constraint of a heavily populated area, ensuring both neighbours and local authorities were not inconvenienced, whilst transforming an Industrial unit into a showpiece brewery.

Over 26,000 hours were worked on site.

Once the civil works were complete Musk took over responsibility for the CDM role of Principal Contractor and provided a full-time site manager. We created a dedicated project team, consisting of an operations manager, project manager and site engineer and a technical team consisting of electrical, process, mechanical design and software engineers.  Over 26000 Hours were worked on site.

Musk brewhouses and vessels are bespoke to an individual client; we deliberately don’t have a set design to ensure we design and manufacture to meet our client’s exact needs. The brewhouse vessels for this project were all designed and built in the UK and the rapid batch brewhouse was designed to very tight parameters with excellent brew length, efficiency and batch time performance results. The project was completed to the program timeline and cost.

Not only can our client now produce more beer in the new brewhouse, they can produce a greater variety – including their first ever lager and lots more hoppy, modern styles.

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