The Rittmayer Hallerndorf Brewery, one of Germany’s oldest family-owned breweries, celebrated its 600th anniversary in the autumn of 2022. The company not only brews roughly 30,000 hectolitres of beer per year in the finest of craft traditions. It also operates as a co-packer for both smaller and larger breweries with its state-of-the-art filling center. For a good 20 years now, Rittmayer has filled a vast array of highly disparate beers (up to 100,000 hectolitres a year) into a total of nine different bottle shapes. That has made it one of the largest contract bottlers for beer in its home region Upper Franconia. The center serves mostly (but not exclusively) the many small privately owned breweries, which are the hallmark of the beer-brewing stronghold Upper Franconia. There are roughly 200 breweries here for a mere 1.1 million inhabitants.
The can offers many advantages
The filling center is now being substantially expanded to also include beverage cans in its portfolio, a first for the brewery. This is managing director Georg Rittmayer’s way of responding to the trend towards cans which has for some years been observed in the beer sector as well. He explains, “We take great care in ensuring sustainability in our company. The can doesn’t weigh much, it boasts a high recycling rate and does not entail any losses in quality.”
What’s more, the canning line has been configured for small batches. The brewery will thus be able to fill volumes as low as 15 hectolitres per beer type, which especially benefits the small, private brewers in this region as well as breweries offering many specialty beers. Since Georg Rittmayer is the president of the Private Breweries of Bavaria association, he pays particular attention to their specific needs.
The company opted for the Craftmate C filler from Krones, which features cutting-edge filling technology. The machine boasts, an extremely compact layout, offers field-proven Krones technology at a fair price, and specifically addresses quality-conscious plants operating in the low output range. The Rittmayer Brewery knows Krones technology from its bottling line, which features a Krones bottle washer, filling system, and labeler. Besides quality and optimum use of the limited space available, short change-over times are of paramount importance for Rittmayer because the company processes small batches, a vast array of different beers, and many different can formats. “Krones is a reliable, innovative, and flexible partner for us,” says Georg Rittmayer. “It’s true that Krones is well-known for its high-speed kit. So we’re all the more pleased they offer top-quality equipment for the lower output range as well.”