Gastonia’s Cavendish Brewing Co. increases craft beer production


After more than four years of brewing and canning beers one at a time, Scott Cavendish has added a canning machine that will make the process at Cavendish Brewing Co. 10 times faster.

Workers will go from a canning capacity of just 300 beers per day to more than 3,000 beers per day, Cavendish said.

Cavendish Brewing Co. sent its first set of Cowboy Water American Light Lager through the canning line, then labeling, then into the hands of customers last month.

“This is the first beer to go through the canning machine and we’re all set to can 150 cases of beer on our first draw,” Cavendish said.

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Cavendish had a mountain of 6,000 aluminum cans ready to fill with North Carolina craft beer.

“During COVID, we canned 30,000 cans of beer one can at a time on a crowler machine,” Cavendish said.

Head Brewer Dennis Howell works on Cavendish Brewing Co.'s new canning line on Friday afternoon, August 27, 2021.

A canned version of a growler, a crowler makes beer easy to canning and on the go. But the process can be difficult for workers filling beers to the point where they can barely move their hands, Cavendish said.

“It was either buying a machine or everyone was going to quit,” he joked.

The machine cost Cavendish $ 40,000. He described it as super advanced with sensors everywhere, adding that it can purge the can of carbon dioxide, a process that helps the beer stay fresher in the can for longer. The machine also rinses the outside of the box before and after adding content, Cavendish said.

Cavendish Brewing Co. was left without customers during parts of the pandemic. Without customers in the establishment’s taproom, located at the intersection of US 321 and Long Avenue, the brewery lost 80% of its activity.

“And then the other 20% were selling kegs to bars that were now all closed and none of them were buying beer,” Cavendish said.

Owner, Managing Director and Brewmaster Scott Cavendish puts a label on a can of Cowboy Water American Lager right next to the Cavendish Brewing Co. canning line on Friday afternoon, August 27, 2021.

The new canning machine offers interesting perspectives for the brewery. When staff filled boxes by hand, the process was slow and cost $ 1 in labor for each box filled, Cavendish said.

“If you think of each case with $ 24 of labor to do it, you can’t sell the cases for much more than that,” Cavendish said.

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Cavendish beers will now make their way to various other establishments. Cavendish said he has already ordered 40 cases of cans. The beer will be distributed to Gastonia as well as to Charlotte.

Aside from some craft beers, Cavendish beers are made with North Carolina ingredients and by North Carolina locals.

“If you buy our local beer, most of it goes here in Gastonia,” he said.

While he may be biased, Cavendish said the best beer in town comes from Cavendish Brewing Co. The brewery has won nine gold medals for its beers in the past.

Beer lovers can expect to see a tropical IPA, October party, and pumpkin ale on the market soon.

You can reach Kevin Ellis at 704-869-1823 or email him at [email protected]


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