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#6 – China delivers extremely good quality

The brew master from the future brewery Frederikshavn Bryghus has been amazed by the quality of the craftsmanship of our Chinese partners. We invited him to China to take a look at a 2000 liter brewery that our supplier had standing in his workshop. The brewery was even for shipping.

Unfortunately, a number of Danish micro-breweries have got their fingers burnt by buying Chinese produced brewery equipment of doubtful quality.

“I can understand that some breweries in Denmark have been disappointed. I have also seen unsatisfying examples of microbrewery equipment in Denmark, says the brewer Kent Boalth from Frederikshavn Bryghus.

A content brew Master checks the details of his new 2000 liter brewery.

Bryggeriudstyr ApS took the brewmaster from North Jutland to visit our partner in Jinan, located halfway between Beijing and Shanghai in the vast country of China. Zybrew is a private manufacturer of microbreweries started and led by James Jia. On the factory floor of Zybrew, Kent Boalth inspected a 2000 liter 3-vessel-system down to the tiniest detail.

“To me, the quality is important, what I saw at James’ factory was an incredibly nice finish, completed welds and good quality of stainless steel. He puts much emphasis on prioritizing quality. ” I can clearly observe and notice that James is also taking pride in delivering some of the best that comes out of China,” says Kent Boalth. He adds:

“All I saw was really nice. Welds and joints were complete, rust-free and easy to clean all around.

Every detail in turnkey brewery is well thought out

The plan is for the 2000-litre brewery to be packed and transported to Frederikshavn, where it comes into operation in the autumn.

Detail from yeast-tank. Butterfly-welding done by hand.

The manufacturers at Zybrew carries out the steelwork themselves. Control systems, agitator and pump motors are of well-known Western European brands. Not because the products are necessarily better than Chinese, but because it is easier to get serviced and obtain spare parts for European brands in Denmark.

“It will be good – as in really good,” says the visibly impressed brewmaster from Frederikshavn Bryghus.

It is not just the brewery itself that is important when you put hundreds of thousands of dollars down on a brewery.

The chemistry is also important, says Kent Boalth.

James is a good acquaintance, and it is in his favour that he also has a great sense of humour. In the event that

James Jia from Zybrew (at the left) and Kent Boalth talk discuss the details of the new brewery in Frederikshavn.

problems arise, it is easier to solve them jointly when you are getting along.

– with Zybrew I would like to be known for being the Chinese response to good quality of microbreweries. In the same way as Toyota is known to be Japanese quality when it comes to cars, says James Jia.

Hunting for bottling equipment

Kent Boalth was also came along when Bryggeriudstyr ApS went on a tour of the industrial districts in Jinan and on the outskirts

of Shanghai to visit Chinese manufacturers of bottling equipment. There may be hundreds or more factories in China that produce bottling systems for both cans and bottles of all sizes from small, simple manual or semi-automatic hand tapperier to complete high-capacity bottling lines with washes, fills, capsules, pasteur, printer and packing plant.

“We have been communicating with a manufacturer of bottling equipment for more than a year, who James has recommended us. But before we enter that market, we will be absolutely sure that we have the right supplier. We need to be completely confident with the quality, when we first mount a bottling line at a Danish microbrewery, says partner in Bryggeriudstyr ApS, Claus

Therefore, Bryggeriudstyr ApS had a consultant via the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to investigate the Chinese market in advance of the trip to China.

– they found more than 30 factories that can supply this type of equipment. On the basis of our demands, the Foreign Ministry’s consultant in China called for 15 of the factories and, and we found together four interesting factories that we would visit. as well as the supplier with which we were already in dialogue, Martin, from the Bryggeriudstyr ApS, says.

Huge difference in quality

Master brewer Kent Boalth from Frederikshavn Bryghus in front of his new brewery.

A couple of the suppliers produce both brewing equipment, yeast-tanks and tapping lines, so the visit to China was a good opportunity to assess what Chinese quality can also be.

“It was indeed a mixed bag. In some places, you were able to see the welds on the inside of the tanks. The welds were not properly polished and thus more susceptible to dirt and germs. We could clearly see that Zybrew provides a much better quality compared to other suppliers, Martin says.

The visits to the manufacturers of bottling equipment clearly showed that we, Bryggeriudstyr ApS, also have the right supplier of accessory-equipment for micro-breweries.

“The technical quality at EQS, which we already knew of, are much better than we saw elsewhere,” says Martin.

– All fittings are in metal, the thickness of the material is solid and the joints are neat. The finish was alright, it was really nice. It sends a signal, that the work is done thoroughly, says Kim Boalth, who among others had detailed questions about the oxygen content in the beer after bottling.

“They had had the gear checked at a German laboratory, so they had a real grip on the details. Among other things, they did not come up with unrealistic high figures on how fast the machine can drive, says Kent Boalth, who fell in love with a 14-head tapping line with a capacity of 2,000 bottles per hour.

In love with China

-The Chinese are very hospitable and the level of service was impressive. They drove us around and fetched us at all places. We were invited out for dinner after dinner and they almost didn’t know all the good they would do to make us comfortable, Kent Boalths says.

Right now he is just looking forward to everything falling into place, so Frederikshavn Bryghus can put the final signature on the contract, and the brewery in Jinan can be packed and shipped to Denmark. Frederikshavn Bryghus is building a new hall for the brewery, which is expected to be completed by the end of August. Kent Boalth expects to start the first brew in the new brewery in September.