Fully automated: Beer can rejects emptying and pressing at Fiddlehead Brewing Company, USA

news March 2, 2022

For over ten years, the American Fiddlehead Brewing Company near Burlington, Vermont, has been brewing and selling specialty wheat beers, pilsners, and Indian Pale Ales. In the US, the brewery is renowned for its craft beer range and its commitment to the community and the environment. Now, Fiddlehead is once again highlighting this reputation with a PUEHLER drainage press that optimizes the recycling process of its canned beer.


In scenic Shelburne, Matt Cohen opened the Fiddlehead Brewing Co.. in 2011 on just under 300 square meters. Since its founding, the company has grown steadily, and Cohen has not only had to expand the physical footprint, but also massively increase production capacity. Fiddlehead now produces up to 10,000 cases of beer per week on a brewing area of over 3,000 square meters. The beer is not only available in the company's own tap room, but also in specialty beer stores in the northeastern United States.


The brewery has set high goals for 2022: to produce 90,000 barrels of craft beer. To make this possible, Fiddlehead has made massive investments in production, streamlined production processes, and increased productivity. The goal is now within reach. At the heart of the brewery is the 60-barrel brewhouse and a 24-head rotary filler that fills up to 250 cans per minute.

aluminum cans on a conveyor of a canning line

A canning line in operation


Quality control is the key to success

During the canning process, it occasionally happens that cans are underfilled, overfilled, or otherwise out of spec. To meet the brewery's quality standards, these cans must be removed from the production line. In the past, company employees spent several hours per shift manually opening and pouring out beer cans. This work was not only monotonous, but also costly and time-consuming.

Prior to the installation of the E.200, filled Fiddlehead cans were collected in a gaylord while awaiting manual destruction.

The hopper of the WEIMA drainage press can be hand-fed or batch-fed.

The contents of the out-of-spec cans are drained from the machine and into a floor drain within the facility.


"Efficiency is particularly important to us, but we also want our employees to enjoy their work. Emptying the cans was very time consuming and we knew there had to be a better solution for this process."

Jon Moorer, Production Manager, Fiddlehead Brewing Company

Want to know more about compressing beer cans? Click Here

Compact footprint, easy installation: Draining with the WEIMA PUEHLER E.200 can press

With this task in mind, Fiddlehead reached out to WEIMA. Since the end of 2021, a drainage press of the type PUEHLER E.200 has now expanded the brewery's machinery. The press drains and compresses the beer cans that do not conform to specifications, while the employees can devote themselves to more urgent tasks. As a plug-and-play solution, the can press was quickly and easily integrated into the existing canning line.

A worker stands next to the canning line and WEIMA machine

Rejects are automatically ejected into the machine hopper, but the machine can also be hand-fed.


Rejects are now automatically ejected from the conveyor belt, so that the rejected cans end up directly in the hopper of the E.200. However, manual loading is also possible at any time via the curved hopper. The cans are then compacted with the aid of the hydraulic press cylinder. A metal plate that can be moved down hydraulically serves as the pressing resistance. The drained beer flows through a screen into the drain pan and is then disposed of. The discharge pipe ejects the compressed discs with a diameter of 200 mm.

Compressed aluminum cans are easy to recycle.

Compressed aluminum cans are easy to store and recycle.

By integrating the PUEHLER E.200, Fiddlehead not only saves tedious manual labor, but also frees up valuable storage space. The aluminum cans in pressed form are also optimally usable for recycling.



WEIMA America, Inc.

3678 Centre Circle

Fort Mill, SC 29715


Additional Information


More than 40,000 machines sold worldwide! WEIMA has been manufacturing robust shredders and briquetting presses for the disposal and processing of all types of waste for more than four decades. Our machines include single-shaft shredders, four-shaft shredders, cutting mills and briquette presses. The popular blood orange machines are used in the wood, plastics, paper, metal and waste-to-energy industries.

Made in Germany. Built for the world.

Shredders and briquette presses from WEIMA are exclusively made in Germany and come from production plants in Saxony-Anhalt and Baden-Wuerttemberg. Every year, more than 300 employees work on around 1,200 customer solutions from around the globe. We have long-standing sales and service locations in the USA, Poland, India and China. More than 80 representatives supplement this global presence.

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