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Beer brewed by the sun: Philter Brewing’s switch to solar

Philter Brewing arrived on the craft beer scene in 2017 with a bang, winning the coveted Champion Pale Ale award within their first four months and with their very first beer. It wasn’t long before they became one of the most awarded craft breweries in Australia.

Soon came the need to expand. Within a few short years there was a Marrickville brewing facility capable of producing 1.5 million litres annually, a range of beers from stouts to ginger beers, and their very own onsite bar venue.

To help reduce the rising operational costs that came with Philter’s supercharged growth, Managing Director Mick Neil turned to solar.

“Brewing is a practice that takes up a lot of energy,” said Mick.

Project snapshot

Industry: Craft beer production & hospitality
Channel Partner: Cyanergy

System 1 (65.9kW) – 120x JA Solar panels & 1x Sungrow Inverter
System 2 (19.6kW) – 36x JA Solar panels 1x Sungrow Inverter
Payment Plan term: 5 years

“Due to the recent power price hikes, we decided to install solar as a cost-effective solution to electricity and managing power in the business. It’s also obviously far more sustainable, so it ticked two boxes for us – keeping costs down and addressing our sustainability agenda.”

The solution

To tackle the solar installation, Mick engaged Matt Cooper from Cyanergy to propose a solar solution that would work for Philter’s high-electricity needs.

Upon assessing the Marrickville site, Matt recommended an 84kW system split over two separate meters: a 64kW system and a 20kW system. With a two-system setup, the Cyanergy team ensured that they could take full advantage of Philter’s large, west-facing roof.

When it came to paying for the system, Mick opted to use a Smart Ease Payment Plan to avoid paying the upfront lump sum.

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“We chose to go with a Payment Plan primarily for cash-flow purposes, – we saw it as a great opportunity to pay down the system over time. And then we could use the capital we had to install other equipment that directly contributed to beer production and running the venue.”

Mick Neil, Philter Brewing

The win

The benefits of installing solar were immediate.

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“Being an inner city, metro Sydney-based business, Philter has exorbitant electricity rates. By putting this solar system on their roof, Philter has covered around 60% of their daytime usage and allowed them to increase their capacity for beer production.”

Matt Cooper, Cyanergy

And the dollar amount in electricity savings? Matt estimates that to be around $56,000 per year!

“By putting it on a Payment Plan,” added Guy Olian, Smart Ease CEO, “Philter Brewing, like all of our clients, is able to transition and decarbonise their operations without spending anything upfront and to actually be cash-flow positive from Day 1.”

Essentially, installing solar cost Philter Brewing nothing and their monthly repayments for the system were covered by their electricity savings. Wins across the board!

  • Increased capacity for beer production
  • Reduced carbon footprint
  • Reduced electricity costs
  • Cash-flow positive
  • Freed up capital to invest in revenue-generating activities
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“The Philter Brewing project really demonstrates the strong business case for putting solar on roofs, and shows just how easy and accessible it is to do so.
“You can come see it in metropolitan Sydney and literally drink beer that’s been partially brewed by the sun.”

Guy Olian, Smart Ease.

Start a conversation with Smart Ease and find out how our Payment Plans can help you generate solar savings