Canning Machines: The Comprehensive Guide

The craft beer industry has seen an unprecedented boom over the past decade, with more breweries popping up than ever before. One of the key innovations driving this surge is the brewery canning machine. These machines have revolutionized the way breweries package and distribute their products, offering numerous benefits over traditional bottling methods. In this blog post, we’ll delve deep into the world of brewery canning machines, exploring their history, technological advancements, benefits, and their impact on the beer industry.

Choosing the Right Canning Machine for Your Brewery

Assessing Your Needs

When choosing a canning machine, it’s essential to assess your brewery’s specific needs and production goals. Consider factors such as production volume, available space, budget, and desired level of automation. For small breweries, a manual or semi-automatic machine may be sufficient, while larger breweries may require a fully automatic system.

Evaluating Features and Specifications

Different canning machines come with various features and specifications. Key aspects to consider include the machine’s speed, filling precision, oxygen control, and ease of maintenance. Additionally, look for machines that offer scalability, allowing you to upgrade or expand your canning line as your production needs grow.

Considering Quality and Reliability

Investing in a high-quality, reliable canning machine is crucial for maintaining the integrity of your beer and ensuring consistent production. Research different manufacturers and read reviews from other breweries to find a machine that is known for its durability and performance. Don’t be swayed solely by price; a cheaper machine may end up costing more in the long run due to maintenance issues and downtime.

Notable Manufacturers of Brewery Canning Machines

Wild Goose Filling

Wild Goose Filling is a leading manufacturer of canning machines known for their reliability and precision. They offer a range of machines, from manual to fully automatic, designed to meet the needs of breweries of all sizes. Wild Goose’s machines are renowned for their advanced features, including automated quality control and high-speed filling systems.

Codi Manufacturing

Codi Manufacturing specializes in custom canning solutions for craft breweries. Their machines are designed to be modular and scalable, allowing breweries to expand their production capacity as needed. Codi’s canning machines are known for their robust construction, ease of use, and excellent customer support.


Krones is a global leader in beverage packaging technology, offering state-of-the-art canning machines for large-scale breweries. Their machines are equipped with cutting-edge technology, including automated quality control, nitrogen dosing, and high-speed filling systems. Krones is known for their commitment to innovation and sustainability, making them a top choice for breweries looking to invest in the latest technology.


The Evolution of Brewery Canning Machines

Early Beginnings

The concept of canned beer dates back to the early 20th century. The first beer canning machine was introduced by the American Can Company in 1935, which allowed the Gottfried Krueger Brewing Company to sell the first canned beer. These early cans were made of heavy steel and required a special opener. Despite the initial skepticism, canned beer quickly gained popularity due to its convenience and portability.

Technological Advancements

The 1960s and 1970s saw significant advancements in canning technology. The introduction of aluminum cans, which were lighter and easier to manufacture, revolutionized the industry. Automatic canning machines became more sophisticated, incorporating features such as inline filling, seaming, and labeling, which increased efficiency and reduced labor costs.

The craft beer renaissance of the 2000s brought another wave of innovation. Modern canning machines are now equipped with advanced features like automated quality control, nitrogen dosing for extended shelf life, and high-speed filling systems capable of handling thousands of cans per hour. These machines are designed to meet the specific needs of craft brewers, allowing them to maintain the quality and consistency of their products.

How Brewery Canning Machines Work

Key Components

1. **Depalletizer:** This component unloads empty cans from pallets and feeds them onto the production line. Advanced depalletizers can handle various can sizes and configurations, ensuring a smooth and continuous flow of cans.

2. **Rinser:** Before filling, cans are cleaned to remove any dust or contaminants. This process involves inverting the cans and spraying them with sanitized water or air.

3. **Filler:** The heart of the canning machine, the filler, precisely dispenses the beer into each can. Modern fillers use counter-pressure technology to minimize oxygen exposure, which can negatively affect the beer’s flavor and shelf life.

4. **Seamer:** Once filled, the cans move to the seamer, where a lid is placed on each can and sealed. The seamer is crucial for ensuring the integrity of the can, preventing leaks, and maintaining carbonation.

5. **Labeler:** After sealing, cans are labeled with the brewery’s branding and product information. Labelers can apply pre-printed labels or print directly onto the cans.

6. **PakTech Applicator:** This device applies plastic handles or rings to group multiple cans together, making them easier to transport and sell in packs.

7. **Date Coder:** To ensure traceability and compliance with regulations, cans are stamped with production dates, batch numbers, and other relevant information.

The Canning Process

The canning process begins with depalletizing, where empty cans are fed onto the conveyor system. These cans are then rinsed to ensure they are clean and free from contaminants. Once cleaned, the cans move to the filler, where they are filled with beer. Modern fillers use precise sensors and valves to control the filling process, ensuring each can receives the correct amount of beer with minimal oxygen exposure.

After filling, the cans proceed to the seamer, where lids are placed on top and sealed. The seaming process is critical, as improper sealing can lead to leaks and spoilage. Next, the sealed cans are labeled and coded with production information. Finally, the cans are grouped and packed using a PakTech applicator, ready for distribution.

Types of Brewery Canning Machines

Manual Canning Machines

Manual canning machines are ideal for small breweries or those just starting out. These machines require more hands-on operation but are affordable and easy to use. They are perfect for low-volume production and allow brewers to experiment with canning without a significant upfront investment.

Semi-Automatic Canning Machines

Semi-automatic canning machines offer a balance between cost and efficiency. They require some manual intervention but can handle higher volumes than manual machines. These machines are suitable for growing breweries that need to increase their production capacity without investing in a fully automated system.

Fully Automatic Canning Machines

Fully automatic canning machines are designed for high-volume production and require minimal human intervention. These machines can process thousands of cans per hour and are equipped with advanced features such as automated quality control, nitrogen dosing, and high-speed filling systems. They are ideal for large breweries with significant production demands.

Case Studies: Breweries Transforming with Canning Machines

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., one of the pioneers of the American craft beer movement, has embraced canning technology to expand their product offerings and reach new markets. By investing in a fully automated canning line, Sierra Nevada has been able to increase their production capacity and improve the quality and freshness of their beer. The move to cans has also allowed them to tap into the growing demand for portable, environmentally friendly packaging.

Oskar Blues Brewery

Oskar Blues Brewery was one of the first craft breweries to adopt cans as their primary packaging format. Their innovative approach helped to change the perception of canned beer, proving that it could be just as high-quality as bottled beer. Today, Oskar Blues uses state-of-the-art canning machines to produce a wide range of beers, from flagship brands to limited releases. Their commitment to cans has set them apart in the competitive craft beer market.


BrewDog, a UK-based craft brewery known for their bold and experimental beers, has also embraced canning technology. By investing in a high-speed canning line, BrewDog has been able to increase their production capacity and expand their distribution network. The move to cans has allowed them to reach new markets and offer their beers in a more sustainable and convenient format.

Future Trends in Brewery Canning Machines

The future of brewery canning machines lies in smart technology and automation. Advances in sensors, robotics, and artificial intelligence are making canning machines more

efficient and reliable. Smart canning machines can monitor and adjust the filling process in real-time, ensuring optimal quality and consistency. Automation is also reducing the need for manual labor, allowing breweries to increase their production capacity without significantly increasing their workforce.

Sustainability and Eco-Friendly Packaging

As sustainability becomes a top priority for consumers and businesses alike, the beer industry is moving towards more eco-friendly packaging solutions. Canning machines are evolving to support this trend, with features such as lightweight cans, recycled materials, and energy-efficient production processes. Breweries are also exploring innovative packaging formats, such as resealable cans and biodegradable can holders, to reduce their environmental impact.

Customization and Flexibility

Modern consumers are looking for unique and personalized experiences, and the beer industry is no exception. Canning machines are becoming more flexible, allowing breweries to produce a wider variety of products, from small-batch experimental brews to large-scale commercial releases. Customizable labeling and packaging options are also enabling breweries to create distinct branding and connect with their target audience.


Brewery canning machines have transformed the beer industry, offering numerous benefits over traditional bottling methods. From improved quality and freshness to enhanced portability and environmental sustainability, cans have become the preferred packaging format for many breweries and consumers. As technology continues to advance, canning machines are becoming more efficient, reliable, and customizable, allowing breweries to meet the evolving demands of the market.

Whether you’re a small craft brewery just starting out or a large-scale producer looking to expand your operations, investing in a brewery canning machine can help you achieve your production goals and stay competitive in the dynamic beer industry. With the right canning machine, you can ensure the quality, consistency, and appeal of your products, delighting consumers and driving your business’s success.

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