Custom-Built Butcher's Dry-Ageing System at Cheverton Farm
When was the work carried out?
Completed in April of 2019, the Cheverton Farm project started with a consultation by Royale engineers at the customer's Isle of Wight location. Gary Millard, a long-standing member of the Royale family, discussed the project with the owner of Cheverton Farm and confirmed the scope of the work.
What type of system was installed?
The confirmed project scope included a custom dry-ageing room with specialist control panels, dehumidification heaters and a custom meat hanging rail system. We also fitted a low-air-volume dual discharge evaporator in the meat cutting room to provide more comfort for the butchers working in there and so they didn’t have air blowing directly onto them.
What requirements did the client have?
Before our project, Cheverton Farm’s logistical setup for providing dry-aged beef was more than a little lengthy. Animals were sent to the UK mainland for slaughter and dry ageing before being returned for sale at Cheverton Farm. The new system had one simple requirement: to enable Cheverton Farm to handle the entire process on-site, removing the need for excessive and costly travel.
By providing Cheverton Farm with the facilities they need to dry-age meat on site, they can quickly lock moisture and flavour inside the meat. This process adds enhanced flavour to the end product which is also heavier in weight and retails at a higher price.
What did Royale do?
Royale engineers installed a fully bespoke dry ageing room, meat hanging rail system and cold room for smaller cuts of meat. The new system is equipped to handle the full process of butchering, dry-ageing and storage. This project required extensive construction of entirely unique components and systems - exactly the kind of challenging hallmark of the bespoke jobs Royale is known for.
Were there any challenges?
Providing any client with an entirely new solution is always challenging. From the rail system to secondary tailor-made dry-age cold rooms, the complexity of the task was heightened by the need for the chief engineer involved, Gary Millard, to travel regularly to the Isle of Wight in-person to consult with the client and manage the work.
When Royale engineers first went to the Isle of Wight we were faced with a empty barn. Royale supported the customer with all aspects of the build, from levelling off the floor to creating a steel structure strong enough to support the large meat hanging system being installed.
What were the results?
Just as Cheverton Farm required initially, they are now the proud owners of a system that allows them to handle the entire butchering and dry-ageing process from pasture to plate. This is a great win for a great business; by cutting out the middleman, Cheverton Farm has removed the need for outsourced butchery and storage that negatively impacted their bottom line and carbon footprint. The meat is also better tasting and heavier because the entire dry-ageing process now occurs more quickly and without the need to travel back to the UK mainland on a ferry.