Craft beer market giving big name brands a run for their money

Beer, especially in summer, is a nice drink to enjoy with friends and family; after a long day, nothing is better than relaxing with a cold beer. Now, with the beer market growing at such a rapid rate, the options are endless. One such drink growing in popularity are craft brews. Bigger companies are entering the craft beer market in an effort to stay relevant and attract customers that prefer smaller-batch brews, and local pubs are now affiliating themselves with both craft beers and regular, domestic national beers to appeal to the masses.

According to the Brewers Association, in 2016, the US craft beer industry added 1.4 million barrels to its production volume, growing the segment by 6%, despite losing 1.2 million barrels to ‘big beer’ producers that have taken hold of the craft beer market. Globally, bigger companies, like Molson Coors, are branching out by expanding their portfolio of alcoholic options to include craft and flavoured beers. Besides producing unique craft beers with interesting flavours, like cherry and pumpkin, the bigger brands are also importing international microbrewery options from places like the UK, into Canada, to compete in the market. A strong craft portfolio is also built by acquiring local brews, such as Half Pints Brewing Co from Winnipeg, and Granville Island Brewing from Vancouver, both of which are now owned by Molson Coors.

But with so many options available, you might think that there isn’t room for more. More specifically, smaller breweries think they can’t compete in the bigger market, but this is where they’re wrong. More and more, people are enjoying local craft beer made in-house, in small batches. It is a growing market for businesses big and small; there is room for everyone. Although the big breweries and their recognizable brands aren’t going anywhere, it is just nature the industry that beer should always remain interesting, relevant and contemporary.

In order to stay relevant, it is important for any company to reinvent themselves, and this extends to the types of products you sell and manufacture, which is where Cemcorp can help. We specialize in complete plant designs, from brewpubs to microbreweries, and large commercial breweries. Starting off, we can help with feasibility – is it feasible to innovate your processes to include more craft beer options? If the answer is yes, Cemcorp can help with everything from grain receiving and milling, to brewhouses, refrigeration, filtration, commissioning, start-up and operator training.

This article originally appeared on Cemcorp, a client of Karrots Inc.


2016-2017 Projects in The Food Processing Industry

On many projects, we work together with professional consultants, engineers, manufacturers, contractors and financers to get the job done. Our scope of work includes single process performance requirements, to detailed equipment specifications and drawings, for their capital projects. Whatever our clients’ needs are, we strive to best satisfy them with current technology and resources.

Recently, one of our clients came to us for help with three of their processing plants in Ontario. Check out what we did

1. Warehouse Renovation 
Before this big undertaking took place, our team completed an in-depth analysis of their requirements to determine how their warehouse should be renovated. Top of mind was determining ways in which the cooling system and racking could be optimized. Since we are full service consultants, we took care of obtaining all of the required permits and provided project management and construction management services.

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2. HVAC Installation
For this particular processing plant, we worked with Installcorp Ltd. on the HVAC installation and upgrade. In order for the plant to become more energy efficient, the HVAC system needed to be upgraded. In a processing plant, an HVAC system can account for as much as 35% of the overall energy use. So replacing it with a system that can work to improve and maintain the efficiency of the plant overall is very cost-effective. With proper installation, this plant’s upgrade was completed with little to no interference to valuable production time.

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The photo above was taken on April 10, 2017 during final testing and commissioning of the HVAC.

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3. Waste Water Treatment System
Our client required both engineering and project management for their wastewater treatment system. For this processing plant, we worked alongside another company in the managing and construction of the project. Construction is now complete, and the wastewater is treated with minimal environmental issues.

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Working with many different companies in a wide range of industries, we strive for excellence with associates who have specialized skills that will easily fit with your goals and objectives. From consulting, to project management, installations, energy efficiency and training, we have got you covered. Get in touch for more information, and to start your next project, today.

This article originally appeared on Cemcorp, a client of Karrots Inc.

Setting the Standards for Training and Development

At Cemcorp Ltd., we know that you are busy, and the last thing you want to worry about is training employees on new procedures and regulations that even you may not be familiar with. We can help. We work with start-ups in many different areas of business to provide not only training services, but also development – putting ideas into action.

Our focus is helping businesses meet the requirements of new regulations, and provide the training necessary to meet those regulations. Don’t think you can benefit because your business is small? Think again. We deliver customized training depending on business needs and size. We also offer both a general and detailed option that can be held on site at your company, to specifically address your company’s issues and challenges; we help you obtain the knowledge and skills you require at a price that suits your budget. We can train one single employee, or a Cemcorp senior specialist can facilitate a workshop for a group of employees. Let’s take a closer look at the many options available:

training31. Start-up support – start-ups are a unique type of business, because they require a lot of support as they enter the marketplace. We specialize in helping microbrewers and small distilleries bring their product to market. Our training and support gives start-ups the power to do it themselves, and the tools to create and navigate through their own microbrewery or distillery.

2. Regulations – regulations are always being changed and modified, which is why it’s important to consult with experts in the field who can help you navigate the process. We can help you meet the requirements to keep your business practices up to date.

3. Certification – hire us proactively, to obtain the certifications you require. If you are required to obtain a certificate of approval from TSSA or the ASME, we can help.

4. Installation – we also provide support and training for the installation and operation of new equipment. This extends to all aspects of your business, and will ensure there is no interruption in production or manufacturing.

Don’t see what you need above? We also offer a la carte services, which allow you to determine what you need in terms of service. And since we know support might be needed after the training is complete, we also offer ongoing development of your key personnel. Leverage the Cemcorp advantage today.

This article originally appeared on Cemcorp, a client of Karrots Inc.

Can What you Post on Social Media Be Used Against You?


In a child custody case, the answer is yes, everything you post online and make available, can be proven useful in family law cases. You should never assume that just because your profile is private, incriminating vacation selfies or negative posts can’t be used against you. Social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, constantly invite us to share photos, opinions and feelings with our networking groups. This proves particularly complicated when embroiled in a child custody or divorce case, where social media content can be used to discredit a person’s character.

In some situations, judges have found a party’s social media postings to be admissible as evidence, provided the material is relevant. In the 2013 Ontario case, MBAY v JY, comments made by the father on Facebook were allowed, after he disparaged the mother, and made a false allegation of abuse. The court found the father’s postings to be a “smear campaign” against the mother. Ultimately, the father’s actions backfired, and just made him appear worse in the eyes of the court.

In other situations where a person claims their income and means is too low to provide support, Facebook can speak volumes to what their situation actually is. Posting photos of expensive purchases or extravagant nights out will certainly contradict previous statements and move to credibility. For a long time, emails and text messages have been accepted as permissible evidence, so it only makes sense that social media has come next.

To protect yourself, follow some simple Do’s and Don’ts:

1. Nothing is ever truly 100% private; you never know what may be called upon as evidence.
2. Do not make any mention of your family law case on social media.
3. Do not attempt to make your spouse look bad by posting negative comments anywhere online. Encourage your family to do the same.
4. Take a step back, and wait 24 hours before responding to your former spouse. This includes text messages, emails and phone calls. Always keep things calm and peaceful.
5. If you see something on your spouse’s social media that you find disturbing or contradictory, inform your lawyer right away.
6. If you have posted something online that you think could be used against you, let your lawyer know immediately.

At Mazzeo Law, we understand the decision to separate or divorce can be difficult, especially when children are involved. We have extensive knowledge and expertise in the area of Family Law, and can help you work through complex legal issues. Consultations are free, so give us a call, and we will work hard to achieve the best possible outcome for everyone involved.

This article originally appeared on Mazzeo Law, a client of Karrots Inc.

Why You Should Review Agreements for Purchase and Sale Before Completing a Transaction

The real estate market in Ontario, and in Canada for that matter doesn’t seem to be slowing down. The bubble has yet to burst, which means that you may be next to sell or buy a property, or do both. Protecting yourself in the real estate process is crucial to ensuring that the transaction goes smoothly. What I have seen time and time again is that agreements are not cut and dry; they are full of legal language that someone without experience might not understand.

An Agreement of Purchase and Sale is a written contract between a seller and a buyer for the purchase and sale of a particular piece of property. Items such as price, length of closing and conditions are all things included in the agreement. Since the agreement is legally binding, it is important to get advice before signing on the dotted line. Once signed, and the offer accepted, the agreement cannot be cancelled unless both parties agree.

There are specific items for which you should review with extra consideration:

1. Fixtures and chattels: fixtures are improvements that have been made to a property that are attached, such as cupboards or water heaters, while chattels are moveable items of personal property, such as furniture or appliances. It is crucial to get these items in writing to ensure you are protected should they be damaged or removed upon closing.

2. Title and other searches, closing arrangements, and completion date: performing a title search will ensure that there are no problems or liens with the property. Closing arrangements should also be clearly outlined, as this is the date the seller must give vacant possession of the property to the purchaser.

3. Conditions: these include items such as financing or inspection. Conditions are crucial to protecting the purchaser to ensure that if something specific, such as financing, cannot be obtained; they are not on the hook for the full purchase price. On the seller side, usually the lower the number of conditions, the more appealing an offer is.

It is always better to err on the side of caution, and have a lawyer review any paperwork for the purchase and sale of a property before making the agreement legal. Ensuring your rights are protected is what we guarantee at Mazzeo Law. Whether you are buying resale, or from a builder, you don’t want any surprises after you have already put through the agreement. As always, consultations with us are free, so give us a call to set up a meeting.

This article originally appeared on Mazzeo Law, a client of Karrots Inc.

Food for Thought: Trends in Food Processing

2017 comes with a fresh set of expectations, and trends that are going to continue to change the food processing industry. We at Cemcorp strongly believe in evolution and taking cues from the world around us to improve, automate and streamline. Take a look at what trends are emerging and what you should watch out for:

1. Innovative solutions to drive down costs: the pressure to cut costs could be coming from you at all sides, and really impact how and what you do in terms of your food processing. Cut costs by standardizing equipment and exploring automation.

2. Energy efficiency: saving energy is an easy way to not only save time and money, but save the environment. By reducing energy consumption, you can reduce costs and increase margins.

3. A refrigeration strategy: refrigeration compliance has been generating a lot of buzz lately. The move towards more natural options helps reduce your carbon footprint. New technologies and developments are emerging, including embracing CO2 instead of ammonia for cost saving benefits.

4. Organic: the move to organic is really popular these days, and consumers are pushing manufacturers to produce cleaner products that are more natural, minimally processed and not genetically modified. Focusing on transparency is key to increasing sales.

5. Globalization: reaching a new audience by manufacturing a diverse group of products and foods can increase demand and bring in new customers. The specialty food market is growing, as the interest in new flavours also grows. Immigrants continue to acculturate and their food traditions are becoming more mainstream.

6. Tighter Regulations:

  • Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) – Just like other industries have the quality control standards for best practices, the food industry has GMP. This includes certifications and programs to ensure that the food is handled properly and that proper sanitization practices are observed. In Canada, this is strictly regulated by the Canadian and Provincial Food Inspection Agencies.
  • Waste Water management is becoming an issue as the municipalities are pushing harder than ever before for industry to make improvements on their wastewater management processes and may require you to install additional treatment solutions.
  • Worker safety is always a top priority for our clients. The WSIB sets insurance rates based on your companies past safety performance and the Ministry of Labour enforces strict regulations outlined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

Want help with any of the above? We work with many clients on streamlining their food processing. We specialize in complete plant designs for a wide range of industries, including dairy, confectionery, bakeries, wineries, soft drinks and more. Working start to finish on all aspects of manufacturing and processing, we can help with reactors, mixers, vacuum pans, feed tubes, blending systems, batch and evaporators.

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Packaging, automation and meeting the strict food quality requirements are also things we can help with. We recently worked with Redpath Sugar on some wet scrubber dust collection system improvements. Changes in the design of their equipment were made to prevent sugar dust from collecting and getting into the air. With our help, changes in the design of their process were made and improved.

What are your goals for 2017?

This article originally appeared on Cemcorp, a client of Karrots Inc.

Save Money, Save the Planet

Saving energy is more than just about saving money – it’s about saving the environment. We at Cemcorp believe in cogeneration, which is clean power’s unsung hero. Also known as combined heat and power (CHP), cogeneration refers to a group of proven technologies that operate together for the concurrent generation of electricity and useful heat in a process that is generally much more energy-efficient than when electricity and useful heat are produced separately. When companies like yours buy hydropower, there is a lot of waste. With the cost of electricity increasing, cogeneration is a great option, because some of the wasted energy can be harvested and used for other purposes, such as space heating and cooling, water heating, and industrial process heat.

One of the most common, and most energy efficient types of cogeneration is condensing steam turbine engines. They are the best for industrial and manufacturing systems because of their large capacity, and are being used all over Canada. Although the most widely known area for using cogeneration is in the industrial sector, the technology is also being used and available on a smaller-scale in residential and commercial facilities.

Don’t just take our word for it. Here are some of the benefits to cogeneration:
1. Reduce air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions by requiring less fuel inputs
2. Reduce energy waste, thereby increasing efficiency levels
3. Reduce energy costs
4. Reduce releases of ozone depleting chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from air conditioning units
5. Reduce dependence on the grid
6. Provide for power when the grid is down
7. Enhance operational efficiency to lower overhead costs
8. Replace aging infrastructure to sustain the life of your business
9. Reduce dependency on non-renewable fossil fuels

Still not convinced that cogeneration is right for your business? We can conduct a study of your process, including a cost-benefit analysis, and give you advice on what your best options are. We can also advise you on what energies are available, and how you can convert them to electrical power. Cogeneration is being used all over the world, particularly in data centres, hospitals, universities and industrial operations, will your company be next to get on board?

This blog originally appeared on Cemcorp, a client of Karrots Inc.