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Cannery Tour

Welcome to the BentSpoke Cannery Virtual Tour

There are two short tours here to guide you through how we produce our beer and we recommend doing each tour separately. Please choose which self-guided tour you’d like to follow first



Stop 1. Grain Silo and Mill Room

Grain Silo
Beer is made from water, malt, hops and yeast. And for each batch of beer we make, we use about 2 tonnes of malt (grains of malted barley). Once every two weeks or so, we take delivery of roughly 25 tonnes of malt which is stored in this grain silo. Just before brew day, the auger at the bottom of the silo pushes the malt we need from the silo through a white pipe up into the grain room to be milled.

Grain Room
The malted barley grains have a protective husk and need to be cracked open so that the malt’s great flavours and fermentable sugars can be accessed during the brew. To do this we pass the malt through a roller grain mill and the cracked grains (grist) are then held in the grist hopper until they are ready to be mashed in.

Specialty malts
90-95% of the malt used to make most beers is a simple, pale “base malt” (ours is stored in the Grain Silo). But one way to make one beer taste and look different from another is by the addition of specialty malts – these malts can vary in colour, flavour and aroma due to how they were dried out during the malting process and can add flavours like toffee, caramel, chocolate and coffee depending on the specialty malt and how much is of it used. (perhaps a small picture with different malts)

Specialty Malt Hopper

Grain Mill

Stop 2. Brewhouse

Our brewhouse is comprised of four vessels (Mash Tun, Lauter Tun, Kettle and Whirlpool) capable of producing 5000L per brew.

Mash Tun
The grist is drawn into the mash tun by auger and mixed with our wonderfully pure Canberra water at 65C and left to steep for one hour. During this time, enzymes present in the malt break down the malt’s complex, starchy carbohydrates into simple, fermentable sugars.

Lauter Tun
The lauter tun, with its sieve-like, perforated stainless steel base is used to extract and clarify the now sweet liquid run-off (wort) from the spent grains. The wort is transferred to the kettle for the boil and we send the spent grains off to local farmers to become stock feed.

The wort is boiled in the kettle for one hour so it can be sterilised, remove any protein haze present and to add hops for bitterness before it’s transferred to the whirlpool

Once the wort is boiled, it’s sent to a whirlpool vessel to separate out any precipitated proteins and add more hops for flavour and aroma. From here it’s brought down in temperature to 20C, oxygen is added, and the wort is transferred to a fermenter in the cellar.

Stop 3. Cellar & Foeders

The Cellar is where the beers are fermented & conditioned, more hops are added, and are prepared for packaging. We have seventeen 10,000L fermenters plus several smaller vessels. We brew two 5000L batches of the same beer on the same day and then transfer them to the one 10,000L fermenter for fermentation.

Once in the fermenter, yeast is added to the beer (plus more hops). Over 10-14 days the yeast chews up sugar and oxygen and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide, and conditions the beer. Just before chilling the beer down to -1C we add even more hops through our Hop Cannon (called dry-hopping).

Hop Cannon
Our Hop Cannon is an X-litre stainless steel pot that we pack with as many hops as possible (sealed up, avoiding air which could spoil the beer) then beer from a fermenter is recirculated through the hop cannon to fully infuse fresh hop flavours and aromas!

Bright Beer Tanks
We have three 20,000L Bright Beer Tanks and several smaller ones. Our chilled beer from the fermenter is centrifuged to clarify out any haze and transferred to a Bright Beer Tank where it can be held at near freezing temps and carbonated. The beer is then either canned or kegged directly from these tanks.

We have three 5000L American oak upright barrels called Foeders (“fur-ders”) in which we can barrel-age some very exciting wild-fermented, sour beers from our Budding Cells range for up to a year.

Stop 4. Budding Cells

Budding Cells is BentSpoke’s newest brewing venture; our wild fermentation and barrel-aged beer program. It all starts with a mother yeast cell that buds a new cell, growing as a projection until it’s big enough to bud off on its own! This is what “Budding Cells” means. We currently age some of our beers for one, two or up to three years in oak barrels from whisky distilleries and wineries. These beers are then blended for balance and taste. Our plan for the future is a mixed-culture brewing site, producing a variety of aged, sour beers with a full packaging line.




The packaging line equipment is one of the newest additions to the Cannery, allowing us to producer better quality beer in the can. While capable of packaging far larger quantities than we could in the past, the addition of a labeller also gives us the flexibility to produce smaller, one-off batches for special occasions and collaborations

Stop 1. Depalletiser

The depalletiser automates feeding pallets of cans into the can filler/seamer. Each pallet holds 7,000 cans and the palletiser can unload a pallet while at the same time hold two more pallets in reserve.

Stop 2. Filler

The filler can operate at 15,000 cans per hour or 240 cans per minute (that’s ten cases of beer every minute! A pallet of beer every ten minutes!). Cans coming from the depalletiser are turned upside down and rinsed before entering the filler where a carousel of 24 filling heads fill cans moving onwards to the seamer

The four-head seamer presses the lid down on to the can, curling, folding and tightening the edges of the can and the lid to form a seal around the top of the can. Our staff check seams for their integrity every hour by cutting cans at several places around the rim and measuring the lengths and thicknesses of the cans’ seams using a microscopic camera.

Stop 3. Labeller

To ensure every can is filled correctly, an x-ray peers through the can as it passes and measures the level of the liquid inside. Any cans that are under-filled, won’t be sold and are mechanically “bopped” off the line.

Can drier
Cans are blow-dried of rinse water in a can drier before heading to the labeller

Most of our cans are pre-printed and require large bulk-orders of cans, but our labeller allows us the freedom produce smaller-batches of our limited release beers (Drifter Series, Bending Spokes Series, Brewing In Tandem collaborations and Budding Cells)

Stop 4. Four-Packer

Stop 5. Case-Packer

Stop 6. Palletiser

Palletiser and Pallet wrapper
These two pieces of equipment take much of the back-breaking work out of our hands, the palletiser robotically layers 24-pack cartons perfectly and in alternating layers, while the pallet wrapper prepares the pallet for shipping