Beer brand Coopers has opened its second bottling line, a $16.5 million investment which is expected to increase flexibility in the brewery and prompt sales growth.
Officially opened on at Coopers’ Regency Park brewery on 6 December by the Governor of South Australia, His Excellency Rear Admiral Kevin Scarce AC CSC RANR, the line is part of a broader $20 million capital expansion program undertaken by the brewery this year.
The launch was also attended by Professor Dr Matthias Niemeyer, the chief executive officer of German packaging engineering firm, KHS, which supplied the equipment.
Managing director of Coopers, Dr Tim Cooper, said “Having a second bottling line will reduce down-time and provide Coopers with the additional capacity it requires to handle increasing demand.
“Our staff and contractors have worked exceptionally hard to complete the installation and have the line up and running in time for the Christmas and the summer season.”
The new line has a capacity of 1,200 bottles a minute and is being dedicated to Coopers’ traditional products including Pale Ale, Sparkling Ale, Mild Ale and Stout, which make up more than 70 percent of bottle volume.
The existing bottling line will be used for the other beers produced at Coopers, including the International brands Sapporo and Carlsberg, as well as other packaging formats.
Cooper said the expansion was prompted by the company experiencing one of the longest periods of growth in its history.
“Our beer sales volume has grown by an average of 9.8 percent per year for the past 20 years,” he said.
“In the first five months of this financial year, growth in beer volume has been 4.6 percent. “We now have about 4.5 percent of the national beer market and continue to grow, despite a period of declining beer sales nationally.
“This new line will enable us to support our ongoing growth as well as the addition of other brands in our beer and home-brew portfolios,” he said.