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Canning More Beer – Black Hops’ $3m Packaging Line Upgrade

We recently announced that we will be upgrading our main production brewery at Biggera Waters (BHII) on the north of the Gold Coast for $3 million by purchasing and implementing a new, state-of-the-art packaging line solution. You can read the press release here.
This is a huge step forward for us, but it is a necessary one in order to keep up with our expected growth targets while maintaining the highest standards of beer quality.


In this article, we take you through the background of our upcoming packaging line upgrade, introduce you to the company we are working with to supply,

 manufacture and implement the system, and give you a brief overview of the key components of the new packaging line, the main C-Block 24/4 filler and sealer.

What will the packaging line upgrade bring?


In late 2020, we undertook the first phase of a strategic production upgrade. At this time, we added six 18,000 liter fermenters, four 10,000 liter fermenters and one 15,000 liter bright tank, increasing our production capacity from just over 2 million liters to just over 4 million liters per year.


The CFT packaging line upgrade represents the second phase of our production upgrade and will increase our canning capacity from 65 cans per minute to 250 cans per minute – an increase of approximately 250%! 

This will allow us to keep up with the phase 1 upgrade, doubling our production capacity, especially going into the high demand 2021 months.

Canning More Beer – Black Hops’ $3m Packaging Line Upgrade

In addition, the new system will provide significant product quality benefits through lower dissolved oxygen (DO) levels during canning and precise fill level control. Keeping potential oxidation levels as low as possible during the canning process will

 ensure that our beer is as fresh as possible and will packaging have a longer shelf life. 

Our new fill and seam solutions will provide a world-class benchmark to achieve this goal.

Which supplier are we working with for the upgrade?

CFT Australia will be responsible for the entire upgrade, manufacturing and supplying us with our own custom packaging line solution designed around the state-of-the-art Master C-Block 24/4 fill and seal machine.
CFT Group is an Italian company founded over 75 years ago. They are recognized as one of the market leaders in their field and have supplied over 2000 beverage units to the food and beverage industry worldwide, 

including over 60 beverage units in Australia. Australian craft brewery Bentspeak Brewing Co recently announced that CFT would be responsible for its own canning line upgrade.


We liaised extensively with Matt Macfarlane, CFT’s Australian Sales Manager, and quickly realised that the product handling and line control offered through their packaging line system would really prepare our increased beer production to enter the market in the best possible way.


We also conducted extensive research and used our industry peers and contacts to determine that, in addition to product quality, CFT ticked all the boxes for us from a reputation, reliability and after-sales support perspective.


To close this deal, CFT was happy to agree to work closely with us and our partners throughout the set-up and launch phases. We already have a team of traditional, technical staff and engineers who take care of our in-house repair and maintenance requirements. 

CFT has agreed to join this trusted team throughout the installation process and train them in all aspects of system operation and routine maintenance.
Main C-Block 24 Head Rotary Filler and 4 Head Suture

Canning More Beer – Black Hops’ $3m Packaging Line Upgrade

The brand of equipment that will drive our new packaging line is the main C-block 24-head rotary filler and 4-head sealer. It focuses on one of the most important stages of the packaging line process – filling our cans with beer and then sewing them together in the fastest, highest quality way possible.


This new integral unit is one of the best on the market, based on proven back-pressure filling technology, combined with CFT’s state-of-the-art seaming technology.


As mentioned earlier, in addition to increasing our throughput to 250 cans per minute, one of its biggest selling points is the significant product quality benefits it provides by reducing dissolved oxygen (DO) levels during the canning process and its patented valve filling technology. 

The system’s short transition time from filler to sealer minimizes oxygen uptake during the filling process, ensuring that our beer is as fresh as possible at launch and extends its shelf life through extended freshness.