Being able to package beer in cans on site has increased the efficiency and flexibility of a North East business.
Victorian Minister for Regional Development Mary-Anne Thomas visited Bright Brewery on Monday to see its new canning machine, funded by both the business and the government.
Brewery operations manager Rupert Shaw said once the business bottled everything but "cans as a format just exploded in the last three to four years".
"The vast majority of people who drink beer now are happy with cans and they're actually environmentally better than bottles, we think, because they're lighter, they are easier to transport, you get more in a pallet, fully recyclable, less material because you've not got a bottle label and a cap," he said.
"There's a lot less involved in putting it together in terms of total materials, which is great."
Previously Bright Brewery relied on third parties with portable canning equipment but that method proved expensive.
"You're also limited to their availability, so you have to plan all your brewing and all your sales around a visit by those guys," Mr Shaw said.
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The new linear machine can fill more than 50 cans a minute and cost "several hundred thousand dollars".
Ms Thomas said the investment, supported by the $50 million Agriculture Workforce Plan, would help the brewery ensure its business sustainability.
"Bright Brewery is a vibrant regional success story that's become a tourist drawcard in its own right," she said.
Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes said the funding would allow "a much-loved family business to forge its own path in the competitive craft beer sector".
"We're helping businesses grow and provide new training opportunities for local workforces," she said.
Owner Scott Brandon said the government support assisted the brewery through a challenging time.
"This project will help us support our existing staff and bring on new employees into the future," he said.
Mr Shaw said the business employed up to 70 full and part-time workers.
Coronavirus lockdowns and ongoing hospitality capacity restrictions encouraged a greater focus on wholesale and sales had increased steadily.
"Packaging, canning is very important because all the keg sales virtually evaporated because venues haven't been open," he said.
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