What Is The Difference Between Microbrewery Equipment And Nano Brewery Equipment?


Craft beer has gained immense popularity in recent years, and the rise of microbreweries and nano breweries has contributed significantly to this trend. These small-scale breweries have become essential players in the craft beer industry, providing innovative and unique brews to beer enthusiasts. However, you may wonder, what exactly sets microbrewery equipment apart from nano brewery equipment? In this article, we will delve into the details and explore the key differences between these two types of brewing equipment.

Making A Distinction: Microbrewery Equipment

Microbreweries are typically defined as breweries that produce relatively small quantities of beer compared to large-scale industrial breweries. While there is no universally agreed-upon production limit, microbreweries generally produce less than 15,000 barrels (17,600 hectoliters) of beer per year.

Microbrewery equipment is designed to cater to this moderate production scale. It consists of various components and systems that facilitate the brewing process. The equipment includes mash tuns, brewhouses, fermenters, cooling systems, and storage vessels. Each of these elements serves a vital purpose in turning raw ingredients into delicious craft beer.

Mash Tuns and Brewhouses:

At the core of microbrewery equipment are mash tuns and brewhouses. The mash tun is where mashing occurs, which involves mixing milled grain with hot water to extract sugars. This mixture, called the mash, is then transferred to the brewhouse, where it goes through lautering, boiling, and hop addition processes. These steps lead to the creation of wort, the liquid that will eventually be fermented to create beer.

Fermentation and Cooling:

Once the wort is ready, it undergoes fermentation. This takes place in fermenters, where yeast is added to convert the sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide. Microbrewery equipment typically includes several fermentation vessels to allow for simultaneous brewing of different beer styles. Cooling systems are also vital to maintain the optimum temperature for fermentation, ensuring the yeast performs its magic correctly.

Storage and Packaging:

To store the finished beer, microbreweries use bright beer tanks. These tanks store the beer after fermentation, allowing it to clarify and carbonate before it is packaged. Packaging options can vary, with microbreweries commonly utilizing kegs, cans, or bottles to distribute their beer to local establishments and customers.

Exploring Nano Brewery Equipment

While microbreweries operate at a comparatively larger scale, nano breweries take the craft beer movement to a more intimate level. A nano brewery is generally defined as a brewery that produces beer in smaller batches than microbreweries. With an annual production limit of around 100 barrels or even less, nano breweries focus on experimentation and creativity rather than mass production.

Nano brewery equipment shares some similarities with microbrewery equipment, albeit with smaller capacities and volumes. The key difference lies in the scale of production and the level of automation. Nano breweries often thrive on a more hands-on approach, with brewers actively involved throughout the brewing process.

Brewing on a Smaller Scale

Nano brewery equipment is specifically designed to cater to the needs of smaller-scale brewing. It generally consists of compact versions of the components found in microbrewery equipment, including mash tuns, brewhouses, fermenters, and bright beer tanks. These systems are typically less automated, requiring more manual control over each step of the brewing process.

Mash Tuns and Brewhouses:

Similar to microbrewery equipment, nano brewery equipment includes mash tuns and brewhouses to facilitate mashing and brewing. However, these components are scaled down to accommodate lower-volume production. Nano brewers often prefer systems that allow them to control the brewing variables more closely, enabling them to experiment and develop unique flavors.

Fermentation and Cooling:

Nano breweries typically utilize fermenters for the fermentation process. These vessels may be smaller than those used in microbreweries, allowing nano brewers to work with smaller batch sizes and brew multiple styles simultaneously. Cooling systems are also present in nano brewery setups to maintain optimal fermentation temperatures, typically achieved through manual monitoring and adjustment.

Storage and Packaging:

When it comes to storing and packaging beer, nano breweries employ bright beer tanks with smaller capacities. These tanks accommodate the lower production volumes of nano breweries, ensuring the beer undergoes proper clarification and carbonation before reaching consumers. Packaging options remain similar to microbreweries, as both kegs and cans are popular choices.


Microbrewery equipment and nano brewery equipment both play significant roles in the craft beer industry. Microbreweries, with their larger production scale, utilize equipment designed for efficiency and consistency. On the other hand, nano breweries focus on innovation and experimentation, employing smaller-scale equipment that offers greater control and creative freedom to brewers.

While microbrewery equipment caters to those aiming for a production volume below the industrial scale, nano brewery equipment enables brewers to craft beer on a truly intimate level. The key differences lie in the scale of production, the level of automation, and the degrees of control and customization available to brewers.

Regardless of which type of brewery you choose to explore, both microbreweries and nano breweries allow beer lovers to embrace the diversity and flavors that craft beer has to offer. So, whether you're enjoying a pint of beer from a local microbrewery or savoring a unique small-batch brew from a nano brewery, raise your glass to the creativity and passion that goes into each sip.


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