Real Ale Brewing Quadruples Speed on Bottle Line

Resource Type: Blog |

Real Ale Brewing Company is the home of a dedicated team of brewers producing high-quality handcrafted ales. The company has experienced consistent growth year over year, and is nationally ranked as the 54th largest regional craft brewery. 

Located in the small remote town of Blanco, in the Texas Hill Country, the closest urban centers are more than 45 minutes away. As a result, Real Ale Brewing’s team prefers to do as much as they can internally, without outside help. Accordingly, when Real Ale purchased a new bottling line which would quadruple the bottling speed of their current line, they decided to do the installation of the line themselves. After installation, they planned to have the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), Sentry Conveyor, commission the new line. 

The bottling line they were replacing was mostly relay logic. In tackling this large project with more advanced automation technology they were unfamiliar with, Real Ale Brewing’s owner, Brad Farbstein knew he would need to rely on a few good outside resources to supplement his teams’ in-house skill sets.

Brad determined he would need a good electrical contractor as well as a good controls engineering company. After contacting several recommended resources, Brad knew Patti Engineering would be the right fit to provide the needed engineering expertise for his project. Brad was impressed with how quickly Wayne Hachenberg, Patti Engineering’s southern region business development manager, responded to Brad’s inquiry regarding the project. “Within a day Wayne was onsite to review the project. His genuine interest in our company and his thorough review of our needs stood out from the other companies,” commented Brad. “We are a company that considers more than just price; we make our decisions based on what is best for our business, and we know good reliable partners can make all the difference.” 

Patti Engineering’s Texas team worked closely with Brad and his team. The scope of services provided by Patti Engineering included the design of the wire gutter and basket system, specification and design of the cabling for variable frequency drives (VFD’s), motor starters, and all of the I/O sensors. Brad hired C.H. Electrical of Austin to install Patti Engineering’s design. 

Patti Engineering also assisted with reprogramming an existing vision inspection system that was repurposed from the original bottling line. At Brad’s request, Patti Engineering was also onsite to observe while the OEM commissioned the line. Learning the system from the original designers, Real Ale Brewing can rely on Patti Engineering for prompt local engineering support. 

The commissioning of the new bottling line was successfully completed earlier this month, increasing production speed four-fold, from 100 bottles per minute to 400 bottles per minute. Real Ale Brewing is now positioned to continue to meet growth demands. Brad noted, “The success of this project is a direct reflection of the dedication, diligence, and team effort of our Director of Brewing Operations, Tim Schwartz, our Maintenance Manager, Gary Turnquist, and our local partners, Patti Engineering and C.H. Electrical.”  The Real Ale Brewing Company has a great story, and Brad has been kind enough to share that story with Patti Engineering. We invite you to read our spotlight on Brad Farbstein and how he turned his passion into a successful business. We hope you will enjoy the story (and their beer) as much as we have!

Related categories: Blog Control Systems Integration

Nick Hitchcock's Bio

Texas Director of Operations

Hired in 2008, Nick Hitchcock has served in several engineering and management roles in the company’s Austin office. Starting out at the Michigan office, and moving to Texas in July 2010, he now serves as the Director of Texas Operations.