Automated, Integrated Packaging Systems

Mark Anthony Brewing

Mark Anthony Brewing’s facility in Columbia, South Carolina, is the largest and most technologically advanced brewery built in the U.S. in the past 28 years. This 1.2 million-square-foot highly automated facility produces 80 million cases per year.

An Ambitious Timeline

Normally, a project of this size would take years to plan and build. MAB’s ambitious timeline saw the site transform from initial groundbreak to production of the first saleable case of product in just 346 days. Our integrated design-build team was able to meet the speed and high build quality experience needed for the challenging project.

Construction began just 30 days after the project was awarded to Clayco, and substantial completion was reached in less than a year.

The foundation of this tank table consisted of a 3500cy mat slab foundation (26,000sf and 4’ thick). The elevated tank table structure was formed (21,000sf) reinforced (300 tons of rebar) poured (2400cy) in just 12 weeks.

Designed for Peak Production

The facility has the capacity to produce 6 million barrels of finished product and package 80 million cases per year, with a packaging speed of almost 1,000 barrels per hour.

Once the tank table was complete, work began on the installation of 56 purpose-built stainless-steel tanks, with total capacity to hold nearly 4 million gallons of liquid. The tanks traveled by barge down Germany’s Rhine River, where they were loaded on a vessel and shipped to the Port of Charleston. Then the tanks had to take a very specific, safe route to arrive at the MAB site in Columbia, which is more than 100 miles from the harbor.

This massive output is facilitated by over 14 miles of process piping, 3 miles of underground plumbing, 17 miles of utilities piping and nearly 100 fermentation, storage and ingredient tanks. The packaging area includes three types of packaging lines for various product mixes and packaging options.

Unique Packaging System

With an integrated packaging system, state-of-the-art processing, and a highly automated process in place, Mark Anthony Brewery’s South Carolina facility is well positioned to continue its pioneering new beverage categories and creating inspirational beverage brands.

The bottle filling lines run 50,000 bottles an hour, and the variety pack line that includes different flavors of Mark Anthony’s products.

Cans enter the warehouse on a pallet with no lid ends. The automated warehouse system brings the product based on a call from the control system. The facility contains automated tunnels to the warehouse, where the system brings the product to the packaging area as required. The automated warehouse takes finished goods away based on whether it’s a single-flavor product or a product for a variety pack system with multi-flavors.

These packaging lines are mirrored but operate in a combined manner, so plant floor operators can move and access the lines. Both lines are capable of running 120,000 cans an hour. It’s a huge capacity, and it’s very unique.

Committed to Sustainability and Community

One of the main sustainable aspects of the plant is its goal of eliminating emissions instead of buying CO2. The facility aims to be 100% self-sufficient by collecting the CO2 that’s produced during fermentation, storing it, and then reusing it at the end of the process to carbonate the product.

As a family business, MAB is passionate about sustainability. In fact,
the brewer invested $10 million to install a system that captures all
CO2 emissions and recycles them to supply 90% of its CO2 requirements.
MAB also invested $15 million on an advanced technology for its
wastewater management system.

The new facility has already generated more than 300 new jobs
in South Carolina. To create an environment that focuses on health
and wellness for its team members, MAB has purchased additional
land adjacent to the site and dedicated more than 29 acres to build
parkland and a recreation area with a pond and walking paths for

Despite a myriad of challenges that threatened both schedule and budget, Clayco pulled together its in-house teams from Lamar Johnson Collaborative and Clayco Engineering Services to prioritize what designs needed to happen. The “speed to market” during the early phases of Mark Anthony Brewing’s new facility was truly unprecedented. Without design-build, it’s doubtful the project team would have pulled off such an aggressive schedule.