There are five breweries in Albania at the time of writing. One of these is Kaon Brewery. The company, owned by brothers Alket, Artan, and Kastriot Stroka, started out as a small craft brewery in 1995, of which there were several hundred at the time. Kastriot Stroka, engineering manager at Kaon, tells us more.
"Our success is primarily due to the fact that we just love making beer and believed early on that the quality of our beer is extremely important. Our motto is still to put quality at the very top of our list of priorities." It thus comes as no surprise to learn that the brewery recently invested in KHS keg technology in the form of an Innokeg Till CombiKeg. Says Kastriot Stroka, "We consciously invested in plant engineering from the world's market leader for keg technology. Our new keg washing and racking machine perfectly meets our high demands for quality. At the same time we're profiting from its compact design, flexibility, sustainability, and ease of operation."
Kaon's Innokeg Till CombiKeg R5 racks the brewery's two brands of Kaon Lager and Kaon Red Ale into 30 and 50-liter kegs. What the Strokas find particularly advantageous about their new acquisition is that with it they are prepared for all future eventualities. Should the hospitality trade want different types of keg at a later date, the kegging system is perfectly able to cope with a wider assortment of beverages, such as those that don't contain alcohol.
At present Kaon Brewery sells 40% of its beer in kegs. Thanks to their new investment ,sales in kegs may well increase in the future if sales continue to rise. Considering the string of successes so far, the prospects for future growth look good. In 2000 the brewery output just 1,000 hectoliters, for example. By 2005 this figure had risen to 5,000 hectoliters, and to 20,000 hectoliters by 2008. In 2012 the brothers sold the incredible 70,000 hectoliters mentioned above. Kaon Brewery is partly benefiting from a growing consumption of beer in Albania which is increasing annually per head parallel to the average income. The current statistic is 30 liters. Kaon Brewery has also profited from the population getting back to drinking national beers. At the end of the 1990s, for instance, 90% of all beer imbibed in the country was imported; this percentage has since dropped to 40%, the reason being that beers from Albania are increasingly convincing consumers. Back to Kastriot Stroka. "With the aim of becoming the leader in quality, we react according to consumer demands in all respects. This is the only way we can continue to stay competitive. Our new Innokeg Till CombiKeg will greatly help us to implement our uncompromising strategy of providing only quality."