Air Products South Africa is playing a pivotal role by supplying gases to the rapidly growing microbrewery industry in Gauteng.

Gases are vital to the brewing process, with the Tier One player supplying local microbreweries with the necessary oxygen (O2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen (N2) to produce high-quality local beers.

Extreme importance is placed on the gases involved in the process, as delays or interruptions as a result of O2 and other ingredients could spoil the final product.

The company supplies its Freshline® O2 to local companies, which is added to the wort during the fermentation process to modify yeast activity and create flavour. Freshline CO2 is then used to carbonate the final product and Freshline N2 is used to create the ‘head’ of the beer.

Air Products’ Freshline Product Manager Nelisiwe Dlamini explained, “It is important to secure a supply of O2 to the brewery. Without the O2, the entire process and ultimately the quality of the beer is affected. We understand the process and aim to ensure that we supply product to the microbreweries, enabling them to produce quality, tasty craft beer.”

“Without the O2, the entire process and ultimately the quality of the beer is affected”

Nelisiwe Dlamini, Air Products’ Freshline Product Manager 

The Tier One player supplies South Africa’s budding microbrewery sector via cylinders, Maxitanks, Minitanks and its CryoEase® microbulk solution, a service that replaces the need for gas cylinders by providing a small, onsite tank to guarantee an uninterrupted product supply at the correct quantities and pressures.

Tank sizes range from 230-2,000 litres and gas can be supplied in either liquid or gaseous form via a network that is directly connected to the point-of-use. Air Products closely monitors consumption levels with its drivers then returning to refill the tanks.

Moritz Kallmeyer from local outfit Drayman’s Brewery highlighted, “As a microbrewer, modern technology is costly to acquire, however, we do not hesitate to consult the Air Products team to advise us on improving our beer quality by alerting our gas usage and composition. We consider Air Products to be a part of our brewing team.”

According to craft brew masters, craft beer is expected to form at least 10% of South Africa’s total market share by 2022.