Understanding local heritage is when an old, disused factory with a deep regional significance is transformed into a brewery. Ecological sustainability is also added to the mix when the high-quality ingredients used are exclusively locally grown. This corresponds precisely to the self-perception and corporate identity of the Hordeum brewery from Novara in the Italian province of Piedmont, which brews craft beers with special ingredients that reflect the unique flavours of the region. It’s not just that each individual brew embodies the flavour of Piedmont, the beer’s origins should be clearly displayed in the barrels, too. After searching long and hard for a partner able to reflect this feeling in their barrels’ appearance, the brewery finally came across SCHÄFER Container Systems. The German KEG manufacturers were able to capture the great beer variety in a uniform look and feel.
Hordeum is one of the few agricultural breweries in Piedmont. In keeping with its close regional ties, the ingredients it uses are also local and consequently instrumental in capturing the very different and distinctive flavours in the beers themselves. As a result, the brewery’s seven partners and four employees produce different representatives of Piedmont in their craft brews. Though each of them stands for the region in their own special way, they all differ in the nature of the beer and the predominant flavour. Examples are brews like Regina, a lager beer based on Carnaroli rice, Hermes, a Vienna-type lager, using Ermes rice, Iside, a Belgian Dubbel or Moka, an imperial Stout coffee.
“We were troubled by the fact that the same product had a different taste from one order to the next, as we didn’t have a uniform stock of KEGs”, says Paolo Carbone, the Hordeum manager. “We were well aware of just how essential it is to have our own, representative and, of course, reliable stock. Firstly to communicate our values and corporate identity to the outside world, and secondly, to be taken seriously as a reputable company. After trying out KEGs, including used ones, from lots of different manufacturers, we decided to purchase a high-quality product. We spent some time comparing the various products on offer, before we were finally convinced by SCHÄFER, not only in terms of their product but also, later, on a personal level, due to the competent and flexible nature of the partnership.
”Since then, Hordeum has been using 20.5-litre Junior ECO KEGs. In keeping with the brewery’s look, the barrels have black top and bottom rings and a logo applied by electrochemical signature. Generally, the ECO KEG has plenty of scope for branding. The top and bottom rings, for instance, can be adapted to the brand image not only by colour but also by using inmould labelling or embossing. Branding alternatives for the stainless steel body include silk screening, laser printing or electrochemical signature. Other arguments that convinced Carbone were the tracking possibilities provided by coding, the availability of spare parts and the KEG’s ability to withstand robust handling. Designed for the long term growing demand has proven the Hordeum strategy right. Plans for a capacity extension with a greater ECO KEG stock have already been completed and old barrels are gradually being replaced by SCHÄFER KEGs.