Rocquette Cider have made a major investment to upgrade their keg cleaning and filling equipment at their farm’s production facility.
It comprises a state of the art Malek Brautech machine which was built in Germany and designed to fit their compact production space by Vigo engineers from Exeter. Supply chain complications with electronic components meant that the delivery date was pushed back several times. Following successful trials over the winter the companies new machine is now ready to fill kegs for the 2023 cider drinking season.
Managing director James Meller explained: “It was a scary time during Covid lock down. We have built ourselves up to supply draught cider to local pubs and restaurants and then everything suddenly stopped. Then the island was in one big bubble and everything kicked in again. It was a real roller coaster.
“We were the only place in the British Isles with a festival that first year with the Vale Earth Fair and later with the Guernsey Together festival the cider really started to flow.
“I think we were lucky and feel very fortunate with the way the restrictions were handled”>
Mr Mellor continued: “The Covid period started us thinking about the future and it was important to us. We decided that the time was right to make an upgrade to our equipment. I feel very responsible to our customers so it is important to me to be able to achieve the highest standards that we can.
“The old manual system has done us proud but the new equipment is so much better and will help us achieve the volume and quality that we want.”
Rocquette Cider now supply around 2,200 of their 50 Litre Kegs or 193,600 pints annually within the Bailiwick. This is on top of the bottles and ‘bag in box’ ciders that they also produce. The company also supplies their draught cider to St. Georges brewery in Essex in Key Kegs.
Operations Manager Miguel Gomes said: “The new machine can be connected to the internet which was really useful during the set up allowing engineers from Malek to monitor the machine from Germany and adjust the program to our requirements. This feature will also be very useful for ongoing diagnostics to ensure that we have access to support should we require it.”