The Spike Nano: A Small-Batch System Engineered to Have a Big Impact for Brewers

Spike's Ben Caya recently caught up with Bernard Petersen, founder of the Runaway Micropub & Nanobrewery, for a brew day in Burlington, Wisconsin. Just a year ago, Ben helped Bernard install Spike's first Nano system.

Spike has been supplying five- to 15-gallon equipment since 2012, mostly to homebrewers. About three years ago, they decided to make a commercial one-barrel system, and the Nano was born. Their goal was to engineer a reliable and easy-to-use system for the homebrewer turned commercial nanobrewer.

“When we first sat down to design the Nano we started with a blank slate,” says Ben Caya, owner and lead engineer at Spike. “We met with a handful of local commercial brewers and asked them what they wanted in a small batch system.”

During development, Spike collaborated with local partners to help iterate the design. Those same brewers came in and brewed on prototypes. Chemists at the nearby University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee tested wort samples to ensure that the steam condenser would eliminate DMS. Lastly, American suppliers throughout the Midwest were chosen for the final product, resulting in 85 percent of the system being sourced in the United States.

After homebrewing for more than a decade, Bernard Petersen decided to start a brewery. He was looking to support a local company with a well-engineered product. Already happy with his five-gallon Spike fermentor, he said it was an easy choice to go with Spike for his commercial equipment.

Today, Bernard is using his 10 one-barrel fermentors to keep his 10 taps flowing at the Runaway Micropub and Nanobrewery in Burlington, Wisconsin.

Meanwhile, Spike is delivering new systems across the US and Canada.

The Nano is now used as the brewhouse for many nanobreweries. It is also used by:

  • larger breweries, as a pilot system.
  • hop farmers, to make beers showcasing their hops.
  • a coffee roaster, which expanded its business to include a brewery.

With the Nano receiving more and more interest, we met up with Petersen to record the system in use and show how it works. A new brewing system is a large investment, and many prospective customers want to see it in action before purchasing. This video also serves as a “how to” guide for new customers. Check it out, to see how easy a brew day can be with the Spike Nano.

“The system works great,” says Petersen. “It’s really easy to use, it’s easy to clean, it’s easy to scale.”

“The Nano was engineered from the ground up to be best small-batch system for commercial breweries,” Caya says. ”Designed, sourced, and manufactured in the US, I'm 100 percent confident that you will not find a system with a better value than the Spike Nano.”
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