Custom Metalcraft’s TranStore intermediate bulk container tanks, manufactured in Springfield, serve the specialty beverage industry to prepare wine, cold-brew coffee, distilled spirits and others. President Nikki Holden says the 350-gallon tanks originally were intended for chemical transportation. But in 1993, the wine industry realized the TranStore IBCs were extremely versatile and could be used for wine storage, fermentation, blending and bottling. Since then, she says Custom Metalcraft has been one of the go-to sources for these storage tanks.
SBJ: How did Custom Metalcraft get into the beverage industry?
Nikki Holden: Custom Metalcraft was started by my dad, Dwayne Holden, and his business partner, Jerry Cowen, who got their start at Paul Mueller [Co]. At the time, there weren’t many companies making one-off, unique items, which is what Custom Metalcraft started focusing on. In 1982, we added the TranStore line, which was designed to store and transport chemicals. Then in 1993, we got a call from a Missouri winery wanting to use our tanks, so we decided to see what the rest of the wine industry thought. We started attending the biggest wine conference in California, and after that, it grew from there. In 2006, we started working with distilleries and have also sold to well-known coffee and soda manufacturers across the world.
SBJ: What does the industry competition look like?
Holden: As far as the square tank, about two other companies in the U.S. manufacture something similar. With respect to the wine industry, we established our name early on. We’re like the Kleenex of the portable tank world. We have just as big a reputation in the distilling industry as we do in wine. We made an appearance on TV show “Moonshiners.” That was cool!
SBJ: Are there any other markets you’re in, besides chemicals and beverages?
Holden: We have some products that we’ve sold to the cannabis industry and are working on how to find ways to utilize our equipment to standardize and streamline the cannabis extraction process. Manufacturing is a hidden industry. Everything we touch and use in our daily lives, all the inputs are from manufacturing. It’s so much in front of you. We have had some success with the brewing industry, but it’s been challenging because our tanks are not designed to be pressurized, and you need pressure to carbonate beer. We have found our cold-brew coffee tank design has worked well for making sour beer.
SBJ: What are some of the companies that use your tanks?
Holden: Oh, there are millions!
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