Sky high bottling in the mountains of Bhutan
Underscoring the international nature of our business, IC Filling Systems first met with Karan and Pema Dorji, the owners of Namgay Artisanal Brewery in Paro, Bhutan, at the Brau Beviale exhibition in Germany three years ago.
Karan and Pema were looking for a complete bottling plant with a capacity of around 1,000 bottles per hour. After discussions to discover exactly the best solution, we prepared a fully integrated proposal based on an efficient horse-shoe configuration.
There were a number of challenges to overcome, as due to the high altitude of Paro, at over 2,200m above sea level in the Himalayas, special electrical standards had to be met, and we had to work around the fact that the brewing area was more than 30 metres from the bottling room. We also had to incorporate a pasteurising tunnel in a very limited space.
Where in the world is Paro and Bhutan?
Paro is a valley town in Bhutan, west of the capital, Thimphu. It is the site of the country’s only international airport and is also known for the many sacred sites in the area. North of the town, the Taktsang Palphug (Tiger’s Nest) monastery clings to cliffs above the forested Paro Valley. Northwest of here are the remains of a defensive fortress, Drukgyel Dzong, dating from the 17th century.
Such is the altitude of its airport, and the challenges of landing there on the short 1,980m runway, between 5,500m high Himalyan peaks, that as at December 2014 only 8 pilots in the world were certified to operate commercial airplanes there!
Production now up and running
We are pleased to say that, in May of this year, the plant was fully commissioned, and production is in full swing, with six types of beer and cider now being bottled. Among the highlights in their taproom and bistro is a Milk Stout which they serve as a dessert beer. They add ice-cream to this beer and do a stout float. The ingredients in this beer are oats, lactose powder, caramel and dark malt.
Namgay are now also celebrating the 2018 Football World Cup in style in their taproom, with a heady mix of live music, football, food and of course, beer.
The production line at Namgay includes:
- 551 Automatic Rinser Filler Capper
- Tunnel Pasteurising unit capable of 1,000 bph
- Labelling machine for applying body and bottle neck labels
- Packing area with carton sealer
- Complete bottle conveyor system in horseshoe configuration