As craft breweries boom, so does demand for brewhouses big and small. From small startups buying their first 3-barrel kit, to regional players upgrading to automated 50-barrel systems, brewery auctions supply quality equipment amidst growth.
For both buyers and sellers, auctions unlock tremendous value. We recently analyzed reports from five brewery auctions that we conducted, totaling 1,000+ lots. Here’s what to expect in the brewery auction ring.
The stars of most brewery auctions are complete brewhouse setups – mash tuns, boil kettles, fermenters and brite tanks in full systems. Ranging from 3 to 50 barrels, multi-vessel packages fetch top dollar, selling for $25,000 to $60,000+.
Savvy buyers seize opportunities to acquire near turnkey systems. Compared to piecing together individual vessels, packaged brewhouses carry plug-and-play appeal. And rather than investing $100K+ in new equipment, used brewhouses deliver serious savings.
Vessel configurations vary, but popular packages we see include:
While complete systems are rare, partial setups are common too – allowing buyers to supplement existing infrastructure at significant discounts.
Beyond full breweries, individual vessels make frequent appearances:
Stainless Fermenters & Brite Tanks – Primary assets for beer production, cylindrical uni-tanks in 7 to 30 barrel sizes are workhorses. Depending on jacketing and accessories, they range from $1,000 to $5,000+.
Grain Mills – Critical for mash creation, both manual and motorized mills efficiently crack grain. Quality mills like Monster Mills and Retsel fetch $600+. Barley crushers start around $250.
Specialty Tanks – Small mixing vessels, steam kettles, hot liquor tanks and more create brewhouse building blocks. Relying on direct fire or electric elements, prices run $500 to $2,500.
Other hot items include heat exchangers, filter systems, glycol chillers, air compressors and grain silos to handle every processing task.
With craft beer diversifying packaging, canning lines and associated equipment earn premium bids.
From manual fillers to high-speed automated systems, canners translate time savings into revenue. Lines handle 40 to 140+ cans per minute, with equipment costs ranging widely.
At a recent brewery auction, a fully automatic Twin Monkeys nano-canning system – capable of 25 cans per minute – fetched $15,000. High-output equipment easily reaches top dollar.
Keg washers also make frequent appearances, nabbing $4,000 to $6,000. These sanitizing workhorses make light cleaning work of cycled kegs.
Beyond production equipment, breweries rely on tasting rooms to show off their brews. Auctions supply furnishings and decor to inspire imbibers.
Bar essentials like glass rinsers, underbar refrigeration, ice bins and speed racks change hands regularly. Glassware flies off shelves too – logo pint glasses, taster glasses and beer flights driving per unit prices from $0.60 up to $4+.
At the recent Sugar Hill, NC brewery auction for example, a complete 15-head draught tap system with nitro tap and drip trays sold to a single bidder for $750. And a full bar setup including a 3-compartment sink with left and right drainboards, underbar ice bin, glass rinser, and shelving rack went for $2,300+.
Seating and decor also see high demand – vintage booths closing for $250+, wood tables plus chairs selling in bulk for $500 to $1,000+, and tap handles and signage always in style.
Key ingredients and consumables round out brewery auctions. Buyers snap up pallets of grain – premium malt barley and wheat plus varietals like Crystal and Roasted. Depending on volumes and brand, bags begin around $1 and reach $5+ for high-end malted grain.
Casks of brewing salts and additives also move at auction, alongside cleaners like PBW and Star San for sanitizing tanks. Kegs sell by the dozen too – from fresh stainless to reconditioned used ball and torpedo kegs at $40 to $100 each via singles or bulk discount.
And we can’t forget hops! Vacuum sealed hop pellets for finishing stay shelf stable, so used lots remain viable if properly stored. Bids range widely based on exotic varietals and alphas.
While brewery gear dominates, distilling equipment continues growing traction as craft spirits rise. Stainless processing tanks, fermentation vats, bottling lines, and mills for grinding corn and grains all trade hands.
As smaller spirit brands expand, auctions supply commercial-grade equipment for ramping up production without massive capital costs. And urban tasting rooms enliven evenings with craft cocktails featuring house spirits straight from the steel horse. Stay tuned for a future blog on distillery auctions.
Whether upgrading systems or launching passion projects, brewery auctions keep tasty beer flowing. For commercial brewers and home-brewers alike, deals bubble up across equipment essential for production to pouring the perfect pint.
Lift a glass to quality and value! Our team stays tapped into this always-evolving marketplace. Let us brew up a specialty solution catered to your brewhouse dreams. The first round of questions is on us!