Customer Success Stories
Kulshan Brewing Taps Siemens Automation for Rapid Expansion
The name Kulshan comes from the Native American word for Mt. Baker, which is the local volcano in the Cascade mountain range. Founded in 2012 by Bellingham native David Vitt, Kulshan Brewing is one of the fastest-growing breweries in Whatcom County, highly regarded for making delicious and well-balanced ales and lagers. Just one year after opening, Kulshan doubled the size of their brewhouse to 15 barrels in order to keep up with demand. In 2015 Kulshan opened a second brewery, affectionately named "K2", in Bellingham with a 30-barrel brewhouse.
"We have a strong following for our extensive line of award-winning beers, including Bastard Kat IPA, Red Cap Irish Red Ale, Transporter Porter, Good Ol' Boy Pale Ale and much more, plus a host of seasonal, specialty and limited-release beers. Our mission is to sustainably produce great beer, to maintain a fun and fulfilling work environment for our staff, and to give back to the local community, " explains David Vitt.
The operations team needed to get the brewery's new facility online and making beer fast. Not to mention under budget. According to Chris Noskoff, Kulshan's Operations Manager, the brewery faced numerous challenges that they weren't sure how to deal with and one of those was automation.
"We really wanted to incorporate automation into the new brewery to make the process more seamless and easier on our brewers, and it produces a better product overall, with more consistency," explains Noskoff. "Automation makes everything easier, for everybody."
With no previous automation experience, Kulshan Brewing needed an easy to use and easy to maintain system for their brewhouse. The Siemens Totally Integrated Automation (TIA) solution provided everything Kulshan needed for their expansion in one integrated environment. "When we first implemented the Siemens software, it was a learning curve for us. But, for someone with no prior experience, we found the software to be really easy to use and quite intuitive," says Noskoff.
"The future for us is to keep growing, continue making good quality beer and serving the people of our community and state with a fine product."
Chris estimates that choosing Siemens automation helped Kulshan cut its time-to-market by at least 50%, reducing months of development time and conserving precious cash. The real value is being able to fulfill orders and meet market demand ahead of schedule.
Local Siemens partner, KAASM was instrumental in Kulshan's expansion process providing sales, support, training and consulting to the Kulshan team. "Our relationship with KAASM has been excellent, we have not had any previous experience with Siemens products and KAASM helped bridge our technology gap," explains Chris. "We've been really satisfied with the results."
Kulshan Brewing | James Street Brewhouse, Bellingham WA.
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