33 guests gathered in one fell swoop – a visitor group of this strength has not been seen at Envases Öhringen GmbH for a long time. For the Free Brewers, too, the joint visit as part of their annual meeting was, according to their managing director Jürgen Keipp, “the largest gathering in our recent and middle history. This time, an exceptionally large number of members accepted the invitation. After all, after more than two years of the pandemic, they did not want to miss the opportunity for personal exchange. And, of course, they wanted to take advantage of the unique opportunity to take a peek behind the scenes of the world market leader for five-liter party kegs.
As an association of 44 leading family breweries from Germany, Austria and Luxembourg, The Free Brewers see themselves as a “community of companies with the same interests and values”. They also work together in economic terms. Together, they procure commodities and materials, select suppliers, and negotiate contracts.
At Envases, the Free Brewers follow the path all the way to the finished minikeg
Originally, the visit to Envases had been planned for November. However, due to Corona, it had to be postponed until spring. At the beginning of May, the time had finally come: as part of their buyers’, technicians’, and brewmasters’ conference held in nearby Schwäbisch Hall, The Free Brewers also paid a visit to Envases at the Öhringen site. The guests, who were in the best of moods, were literally smiling in the sun as they were warmly welcomed by Envases Managing Director Johannes Alberti and Sales Manager Peer Brämer. Following a relaxed reception in the sales office, the guests were given a half-hour tour of the production facility. From the raw aluminum to the finished mini-keg, the visitors were able to follow the individual production steps in real time.
Marketing Manager Michael Tischler, who had helped organize the visit program, was pleased with the interest shown by the guests. “It’s great that we can finally have a large group visiting us here again. Many of the Free Brewers have been among our loyal Envases customers for many years. It was a great pleasure for us to be able to present ourselves and our products to them and all other interested parties directly on site.” Thus one could strengthen the customer relationship already existing with some members even further. At the same time, Tischler hopes that the visit also convinced some potential new customers of the competence and innovative spirit of Envases Öhringen.
Five-liter can as a “crisis saver” with future potential
Jürgen Keipp, Managing Director of the Free Brewers, was also enthusiastic about the joint exchange. While the current difficulties within the industry are of course omnipresent, he said. “Corona is far from being digested by all our members. And already the next big challenges are building up in front of us.” Nevertheless, he said, the conversations that day were definitely lighthearted and amicable in nature. “People take the opportunity to talk and gather new ideas,” Jürgen Keipp summed up. He can well imagine that for many brewery bosses the five-liter keg from Envases also plays a role. After all, the mini-keg has proved to be (one of) the “crisis savers” at many breweries, especially in Corona times, and continues to offer a lot of potential for the future.