Case Study

Russian River Brewing Company

Russian River Brewing Company uses Stratus’s everRun® for production control allowing brewmaxx by ProLeit to run without downtime

Russian River Brewing Company

The Russian River Brewing Company was founded in 1997 by Korbel Champagne Cellars in Guerneville, CA. Their IPA “Pliny the Elder” was one of the first commercially brewed Double or Imperial IPAs in America and has won numerous awards over the years. It continues to be their most popular beer nearly 20 years after it was introduced. In 2003, Korbel decided to get out of the beer business and transferred the rights to the Russian River Brewing Company to Vinnie Cilurzo. In the past 15 years, the brewery has won dozens of awards from the Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup. Cilurzo and the brewery were twice named Brewery and Brewmaster of the Year at both the GABF and World Beer Cup. In 2007, Cilurzo was awarded the Russell Scherrer Award for Innovation in Brewing.

Based on the success and popularity of their beers, the Russian River Brewing Company has expanded their number of locations across the Sonoma Country area. Their newest location in Windsor, CA, was assembled with a “dream team” of architects, consultants, designers and contractors. The entire new Windsor brewery is 85,000 square feet and encompasses beer production for both clean beers and sour barrel-aged beers.

The new Windsor location and its need for continuous operation

With the opening of the new brewery at the Windsor location, Russian River Brewing Company had specific requirements, including a reliable, easy-to-manage control system to ensure production of a consistent end result. The architects, consultants and designers set high standards and wanted to use the best technology available for the new brewery. They decided to use brewmaxx for process control for the brewing of their beer.

brewmaxx is an object-related and PLC-based process control system with MES functionality and integrated recipe control for liquids. This brewmaxx software controls the entire beer brewing process. If the brewmaxx process control system goes down, the brewing process will be severely compromised, leading to the potential loss of a significant amount of beer. To prevent this, Russian River searched for ways to make the brewmaxx system highly available and continue running— even if failures in computer systems occurred.

The Stratus everRun choice

Many breweries rely on Stratus everRun to ensure that their brewing process will not be interrupted by system failures. everRun is unique in the industry, in that it is the only software product that can be loaded onto two standard Intel-based servers to create a single instance Windows® VM environment. This software provides zero downtime and zero data loss; meaning the brewmaxx application can continue to run without interruption or the loss of data if either server fails.

After learning about the benefits everRun provides, Joe King, the Director of Information Technology at the Russian River Brewing Company, decided that it would be an ideal solution for his redundancy and high availability requirements. “ProLeit had recommended everRun based on everRun’s proven track record in other breweries using everRun as the redundant system platform for brewmaxx,” says King. The Russian River Brewing Company had also used a consulting company to help specify requirements and overall design for the new facility, and they also endorsed the everRun recommendation.

Since implementing everRun, King has been satisfied with that choice. “The systems have been running with zero downtime since their deployment and have been performing perfectly.

We require the uptime to maintain consistency end-to-end.”

The implementation

King configured the servers and worked with Stratus and ProLeit to incorporate the everRun system into ProLeit’s brewmaxx during the summer of 2018. He then integrated the brewmaxx and everRun systems into production to run the brewery process at the new Windsor location.

King explains, “We are very pleased with our Stratus everRun servers. We have the level of redundancy and reliability we require in a simple to use Windows-based solution.”

“We are very pleased with our Stratus everRun servers. We have the level of redundancy and reliability we require in a simple to use Windows-based solution.”
Joe King
Director of Information Technology
Russian River Brewing Company

About Stratus

Stratus takes the complexity out of keeping business critical applications running 24/7/365. Stratus’ technologies proactively prevent instances of unplanned downtime both in the data center and at the edge, and our services ensure any issues are addressed before customers need to. Global Fortune 500 companies and small medium sized businesses in a wide range of industries across the globe have been relying on Stratus for operationally simple, continuous availability for more than 35 years.

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