If you’ve visited our brewery at any point over the last few months, you’ve probably seen the early rumblings of a sizeable construction project: large piles of limestone sitting in our parking lot, heavy machinery coming and going, and the melodic sound of jackhammers on concrete.
While we’ve told you about our upcoming expansion, one piece of information we haven’t yet divulged is the size and scale of the project. Now that we’ve got a conspicuous quantity of brewing equipment sitting outside of our building, it’s high time we share what’s been going on.
Growth is expensive, plain and simple. Doing it correctly, with the long term in mind, is even more so. We have to be pragmatic, and invest in the things we believe contribute to a culture of quality, smart design, attention to detail, and being a great place to work and visit. Constant decisions must be made to find a balance between our standards and our budget.
Following the advice we’ve received from friends in the industry and learning from the headaches we’ve experienced over the past five years in our current space, top-notch floors and ceilings are non-negotiables for this project. This means a new roof, a new wastewater plumbing system, radiant heating, and new concrete floors with the appropriate slope and coating. These things certainly aren’t cheap, so how are we making it work?
Well, we’ve purchased a used brewing system. Pretty much an entire brewery, really.
We spent the past week in Jackson, Mississippi decommissioning a brewery that had recently gone out of business, loading everything onto a series of tractor trailers, and hauling it back to Pittsburgh. We’re now the proud owners of a two-vessel, 20bbl brewing system made by W.M. Sprinkman, along with four 40bbl fermenters, two 20bbl fermenters, and all of the requisite support equipment.
The system is damn near perfect: it’s American-made, under five years old, and designed with growth in mind. To top it off, Sprinkman is lending their full support to help us recommission the new system. Finding equipment that’s functionally identical to the system we were looking to purchase new was a serious case of right place, right time.
Getting everything reassembled and operational will take some time, but when all is said and done, we’ll finally be able to share more beer with more people – a goal that’s been years in the making. It’s going to be a wild summer.