A canning machine can add an exciting (and profitable) new layer to your business. Both major breweries and nano breweries use can seamers to sell to-go beers from their taproom and test new products. There are multiple types of brewery canning machines available depending on how you plan to use them, so we’re here to help you find the perfect option for your business.
Why Your Brewery Needs a Can Seamer
Breweries have found a wide range of uses for their can seamers. For many breweries, cans have been an ideal supplement or total replacement for their glass growlers. While growlers can be popular, they aren’t as easy to take on a boating or camping trip. 32 oz CrowlersTM keep beer fresh for a longer period of time and provide much more flexibility than growlers.
Our friends at Founders Brewing Co., one of the largest breweries in the United States, uses their taproom to test out new types of beer before taking them to retail. By adding an Oktober beer can seamer, they’ve been able to test out new brews, discover trends, and decide which beers to expand on and which ones need further development. They also noted that filling Crowlers produces much less waste than growlers.
The owners of mobile canning company State 64 noticed the rising popularity of cans and bought a seamer from Oktober to start their business. Since then, they have seamed and sold tens of thousands of cans. “State 64 exists because of this seamer,” owner Tim Little said.
Short’s Brewing Company also bought a seamer to sell to-go cans to their customers who are heading out on Lake Michigan or going kayaking. They also like to use cans to store and compare different brews side-by-side, so they can easily see how any changes affect the taste.
Types of Brewery Canning Machines
Full Canning Lines vs. Single-Head Canning Machines
There are two main categories of canning machines to choose from: full canning lines and single-head canning machines. Full canning lines can take care of purging, filling, and canning automatically. They can also work quickly, with a throughput of about 15 cans a minute, which makes them popular with large breweries.
However, full canning lines also have a large footprint, cost tens of thousands of dollars, and require a hefty amount of maintenance. That’s why single-head canning machines are popular with smaller breweries. They don’t complete the filling process for you, and they may require a little more input, but they are affordable and easy to use.
For example, the Model 7 can seamer does require the user to move two handles for a brief moment to press the rollers to the can. But an experienced operator can seam a full case in less than two-and-a-half minutes, which equates to about 9–12 cans per minute. An automatic can seamer, like the Model 8, moves the rollers in place for you, so you just have to put the can in the seamer, let it seam, and take it out.
Sizes and Adapters
In addition to the different types of brewery canning machines available, there are different options for each size of can. Many of them also have adapters that allow them to swap to different sizes. For instance, the Model 8 - B can be adapted to seam either 12 oz or 16 oz standard cans, while the Model 8 - G specifically seams 32 oz Crowler cans. Both can seamers are compatible with tooling sets for size 200, 202, 206, 209, 300, and 401 ends.
Maintenance for Beer Canning Machines
The amount of maintenance required will depend on your canning machine and how much you use it. Our team would be happy to talk with you about the maintenance process for your seamer, but in general, the Model 7 and Model 8 are designed to require less maintenance than the SL1 Homebrewer and BenchMK. All of our models require less maintenance than a full canning line, which has significantly more moving parts.
Must-Have Maintenance Tools
In order to properly clean and maintain your can seamer, you’ll want to have several tools and supplies available, including food-safe grease, nippers, calipers, and a tear-down tool. You will also need the appropriate-sized combination wrenches and hex keys.
Choosing Your Brewery Canning Machine
While the SL1 Homebrewer and BenchMK are great options for homebrewers, the Model 7 and Model 8 are the ideal choice for commercial use because they require less maintenance. Both are available in standard black or custom colors. We also have different sizes available for each model, from 8 oz SLEEK cans up to 32 oz CrowlerTM cans.
Their attractive design and optional colors look great behind the bar, and their durability means a single seamer can handle hundreds of thousands of cans.
How Much Does a Beer Canning Machine Cost?
Prices will vary depending on a number of factors, including the power source, maintenance requirements, and manual or automatic operation. Our most affordable option is the BenchMK drill-powered seamer, which is available for $499, while the professional-grade Model 8 sells for $3,480. A full canning line, on the other hand, can cost more than $20,000.