With over two decades of proven experience, Zip Technologies is a manufacturer of brewing equipment with a passion for delivering turnkey brewing solutions to the brewpub, craft brewery and microbrewery industries
Operating from the Hungarian city of Miskolc, Zip Technologies is a forward thinking provider of finely crafted brewing equipment, with a goal of making brewing as enjoyable and seamless as possible by bringing to a small scale the technology and automation that is usually exclusively enjoyed by larger breweries. “The idea of producing brewing equipment grew from a simple intention to start brewing ourselves,” reveals the Founder and Executive Director, Lászlo Tóth. “At the beginning of 1993, the market offer for craft breweries was quite scant and was mainly represented by a couple of companies, producing for big industrial breweries. Not having found the desired capacity, we gathered a group of talented engineers and created the very first type of Zip craft brewery. The idea found a positive response and soon we had more and more requests for small brewing kits, particularly from Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries. Those were experimental breweries, which were tested together with our customers.”
Beginning with just a single type of brewing equipment, Zip gradually grew to offer 50 varied solutions comprising of different designs, capacities and configurations. “With time the driving concept behind the business came into shape – we wanted to create equipment that was unique in every detail, with parts that can only be found in a Zip brewery,” Lászlo elaborates. “Today Zip delivers equipment for small scale beer production that is suitable for beginners in brewing with a genuine passion to brew, just like we were at the beginning. Through the automation of all of the brewing processes, Zip is able to ease the brewmasters’ life and leave space for creation and experiment. Based on traditional brewing techniques with automation at hand, we provide a professional starting kit that helps the brewer grow through experience.”
True beer lovers
Zip’s main focus is geared towards brewmasters and brewing enthusiasts, including individuals who have been involved in the brewing industry for years and want to develop a brewery of their own, entrepreneurs from a host of industries who are ready to invest in new projects, restaurant owners in search of new ideas and home brewers with some brewing experience looking to expand their capacities. Throughout all of its applications, Zip’s client base is comprised of people who are true beer lovers.
Today Zip continues to operate from its 5000m2 manufacturing plant, from where it develops bespoke equipment for its clients. “Although we have grown in recent years, we want to preserve the status of a craft manufacturer and not the feel of a large industrialised product supplier,” Lászlo explains. “Along with industrial equipment for cutting and treating the stainless steel rolls and sheets before shaping them into vessels, a lot of work, such as welding is done manually. We have around 100 employees of whom at least 40 are engineers and experienced specialists including mechanical and food and beverage processing engineers, as well as welders, cooling engineers, technicians, fitting specialists and programmers. Ninety-five per cent of our equipment is produced by Zip without any outsourcing.”
Zip also operates its Brewhouse Restaurant, which opened during 2012, featuring five brewmasters on staff as well as a selection of seasonal and speciality beers. “The Brewhouse Restaurant represents Zip’s contribution to a new generation of brewpubs and brewing restaurants that share one common goal – to promote the beer and gastronomy concept. The most prominent feature of the restaurant is its on-site brewery, with the beers being served straight from the tanks to the table taps,” says International Sales and Marketing Manager, Anna Svibovich. “In 2014 we presented our beers for the first time at most of the world’s most popular beer competitions and cups to great success. For example Zip’s Imperial Stout won Dublin’s Craft Beer Cup for 2014 and later the Diamond Cup in the European Beer Competition, while our 2013 Xmas Ale won a gold award at the Alltech Commonwealth Craft Beer Cup in Lexington. We brew many popular beers under the Zip brand including ales, pale, ales and lagers. Among the most recent of which are the Pineapple Noir Black saison speciality beer, Instead of Innocence IPL, Hopiverzum Black IPA and our Don’t Panic blond ale. Many recipes are created in co-operation with our Scandinavian, American and English partners and currently we are working on recipes of sour beers that appeal to the hearts of connoisseurs of beer and fruity beers. The main priority is placed on the use of only natural fruit without concentrates or sweeteners.”
Over the years Zip has enjoyed great success at several global brewing industry events and its presently keen to explore opportunities to expand its market presence in the US, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Germany, Asia, India and Africa. “It goes without saying that industry events and competitions are the main venues for meeting prospective customers, as well as chance to reunite with the existing and past clients. The events provide an opportunity to exhibit our new developments, equipment and services and a place to meet industry peers and competitors to learn new techniques. They also help us to stay tuned and be aware of the emerging trends in craft brewing,” Anna concludes. “Throughout 2016 and beyond, we will continue to work to enlarge the geography of our sales in the European market with a focus on increasing service works in-line with increased demand.”