Bayern Brewery buyer Jurgen Knoller aloof took his appellation of “chief baker and bottle-washer” to a accomplished new level.
With the advice of a crane, a forklift and a semitrailer, Knoller loaded a 14-metric-ton bottle-washing apparatus into his Montana Street address on Thursday. The $250,000 apparatus can apple-pie and alter 8,000 bottles an hour.
But don’t alarm Knoller a “recycler.” He hates the term. It implies demography article like a canteen and authoritative a lower-value artefact from it, such as alley alluvium aggregate. He wants to choke the abounding amount out of anniversary canteen he fills, by bushing it afresh and again.
“To acquaint the truth, this is the aboriginal apparatus I’ve anytime formed with,” Knoller said as the D&G Crane Account aggregation bull-winched the apparatus out of its aircraft container. Breweries area he’d accomplished in Germany had washers that could apple-pie 50,000 bottles an hour. This one was custom-built by Seitz Werke a 70-year-old aggregation from Bad Kreuznach, Germany, that provides washers all over the world.
“There are not two machines the aforementioned size,” Seitz artisan Frank Nowacat said as Bayern’s apparatus austere its animate aircraft alembic by inches. “We body the machines according to the building. This was an accessible one.”
Nowacat and aide Viktor Hochstatter accept been about the apple installing and advancement their company’s machines, but this was their aboriginal time advancing to the United States. That’s because bottle-washing about died out a brace decades ago as big brewers and grocery chains absitively they didn’t appetite to accord with the return-side of the cycle.
But European breweries reclaim their bottles added than 30 times, in a abode area landfill debris auctioning has developed bound and expensive. Reusing the canteen additionally slashes the brewery’s assembly costs. Knoller said aircraft a semi-load of bedraggled bottles from Bozeman is beneath than bisected as big-ticket as acclimation the aforementioned aggregate of bare bottles from a New York canteen foundry.
Shipping this apparatus was an abrupt ride for Pacer Cartage trucker Russell McDonald. He said he rarely gets to see what’s central the big animate containers he hauls.
“This one absolutely slowed me bottomward on the hills and passes,” McDonald said of the drive from Seattle to Missoula. “But that’s the coolest apparatus I’ve anytime delivered.”
Once central Bayern’s brewery warehouse, the apparatus will band the characterization and acknowledgment to account any brown-glass, 12-ounce, standard-cap canteen bottle, including those from added breweries. No chipped, screw-topped, or categorical bottles charge apply. The apparatus electronically tests anniversary canteen for durability. Any that abort get ashamed and ejected.
“If the candor is there, I can use it,” Knoller said. “I achievement I get to advice added microbreweries and bottlers, too.”
To ablution the bottles, Bayern charge aboriginal get them back. To that end, the brewery has started an “ecoleague” of accomplice food who action a $3 waxed-cardboard “ecopack” box for barter to buy Bayern beers. Anniversary canteen alternate to the Montana Street brewery in the 24-slot box earns a 5-cent refund.
Participating food accommodate Gilly’s Gas, the Good Food Store, Grizzly Grocery, Orange Street Food Farm, Pattee Creek Market and Worden’s Market. The food alone advertise the beer and ecopacks. They don’t booty aback bottles or pay refunds – alone the brewery does.
Knoller said bisected the broad amount of abounding grocery abundance items goes to packaging. So rather than accept abundance clerks abrade bags of pounds of cardboard, they can ample the reusable ecopacks. A Seattle packager advised the boxes to bear the rigors of the fresh-fish trade. They additionally collapse for bunched transport.
“This is not a dishwasher in a restaurant,” Knoller said. “We’re ambience a trend, not afterward one.”
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