In 2002, the co-founders of the Athens, Georgia based Terrapin Beer Company, John Cochran and Spike Buckowski, started their business with the concept of brewing up a new kind of beer. The plan worked. Six months later, after the debut of Terrapin Rye Pale Ale, they were awarded the American Pale Ale Gold Medal at the Great American Beer Festival.
Today, a variety of their distinctive beer is being poured in more than 10 states throughout the Southeast and East Coast areas of the United States. Sales of more than 45,000 barrels are projected for 2014, which represents a 36 percent increase over the company’s 2013 sales.
Terrapin is on track with the trend of increasing growth in the craft brewing industry. According to the U.S. Brewer’s Association, domestic sales of craft beers reached an estimated $14.3 billion in 2013 with brewers selling an estimated 15.6 million barrels of beer, up from 13.2 million in 2012.
With this increased consumer demand comes new challenges to quality brewers.
With several different varieties being brewed year round, Buckowski says it’s important to make sure the filtration process is closely monitored on a daily basis.
Filtration is a key element in ensuring that all of the Terrapin beers are visually appealing and free of haze-producing proteins, tannins and yeast. Filtration is also critical to optimize a beer’s shelf stability. “A stable product will last longer while it sits on the shelf,” notes Buckowski. “All beer has a life span, but if you put out a clean, stable product, it will have increased shelf life and stay fresher longer".
Cochran and Buckowski quickly recognized the benefits that Eaton’s BECOPAD depth filter sheets would help improve their beer and make it more visually appealing.
Eaton’s BECOPAD depth filter sheet is a diatomaceous earth (D.E.) free, mineral-free filter pad that is used for a wide range of applications, including coarse, fine and sterile filtration. In a special process, high-purity cellulose is crosslinked to form a unique structure that requires no inorganic ingredients.
BECOPAD depth filter sheets are characterized by maximum purity and are biodegradable, with virtually no ash content. They are ideal for backwashing applications and also make it possible to combine the highest standards of microbiological safety while fully maintaining the valuable flavor and color characteristics of the substance being filtered.
“Not only do we want our beer to look great, but we also want a stable product on the shelf,” notes Buckowski. “Once we got our hands on the BECOPAD sheets, we knew we had the best solution on the market. Over the years, we’ve also identified several additional benefits from using the Eaton filters.” His favorites? Ease-of-use, easy cleanup, reduced product loss and increased through-put are at the top of the list.
AFTEK, Applied Filtration Technology, Inc. in collaboration with Terrapin, did extensive testing to find the correct BECOPAD that optimized their filtration process. As a result, filtration time per batch and the filter pad usage were reduced significantly resulting in an overall reduction in the cost of filtration.
“We are yielding more barrels per day by using the Eaton product,” says Buckowski. “Cleanup is also a lot easier. Other filter sheets leave a residue on the plastic plates that hold the sheets in place. The BECOPAD sheets are much easier to remove and clean.”
Consequently, beer isn’t the only thing flowing smoothly these days at the Terrapin Beer Company. Financial saving and increased profits for the brewery are flowing just as smoothly.
With 95 full-time and part-time employees, this award-winning company is now operating out of Terrapin’s 40,000 square foot facilities and new brew house, taking full advantage of the space to brew new, innovative and exciting beers. The company’s current year-round lineup includes Rye Pale Ale, Golden Ale and RecreationAle with two additional varieties, HI-5 IPA and Hopsecutioner beer, distributed solely in their home state of Georgia.
“We are a very happy enduser,” concludes Buckowski. “Short of seeing something spectacular coming along in the future, I can’t see us moving away from using BECOPAD filter sheets".