Good planning and design can help eliminate challenges with start-up breweries


There is no substitute for experience when it comes to beverage plant design
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Wright Process is in the midst of an exciting new brewery installation project, so excellent planning and design for the beer and distilled spirits industry is on our mind. Both are growing market segments, and new breweries and distilleries are opening all the time here in California and around the country. In addition, many existing adult beverage companies are expanding their production and operations.

A recent survey conducted by Microbrewr.com highlighted some of the issues new brewery owners and operators encounter as they navigate the design-build of their operation, as well as their first few years in business. These issues align with what we have heard from brewers and distillers as well.

Common issues expressed by new commercial brewers, as reported by Microbrewr include:

Rapid growth and size considerations
“I assumed I would be able to grow at a slow comfortable pace, but there is too much demand to let pass by…It can be a constant rat race to get the projects done just in time for them to be already behind production needs upon completion.”A Washington brewer

Start-up brewers often assume that they will maintain a small production and grow slowly over the course of several years, but consumers get excited about new craft beers. That market environment can often push you to grow sooner than you had planned, and working potential expansion into your original plans can be challenging without industry know-how. Working with Wright Process Systems engineers can help you anticipate future needs for your brewery’s design.

Construction challenges
“I wish I had known more about the particular property that I was going to install the pub and brewery in. A better and more careful inspection would have given me a better idea of the cost of the build-out.”—An Oregon brewer

You know beer, we know construction. Hidden construction issues are exactly the reason why it pays to work with an experienced general contractor and skilled engineers like those on the Wright Process Systems team.

Permits
“I would say that before opening the brewery, it would have been beneficial to have a better understanding of the lengthy drawn out process of permitting for construction and a more accurate understanding on the timeline for build out would have been useful.”—A D.C. brewer

Many food and beverage processors underestimate the challenges involved with obtaining permits, and these challenges can cause serious delays in construction and, ultimately, production. You want to be operational as soon as possible to begin turning a profit, and our general contractor experience means we understand the permitting and zoning requirements for these kinds of projects.

Installation expertise
“Finding local professionals to assist with installation. It’s not like most of the local HVAC/Plumbers/Electricians have done tons of these and it’s a cinch. Again, I had to educate myself in some areas in order to tell them what they had to do to meet code or to make something functional in a brewery.”—A North Carolina brewer

A brewery installation requires systems and processes that are unique to that industry. Working with a design-build firm experienced with the beer industry can make all the difference in a timely, up-to-code installation.

Learn more
To read more insights – and a little inspiration – from other brewers, access the full article, “What I Wish I’d Known Before Starting a Brewery” here. To learn more about how Wright Process Systems can help with your new brewery design, build and systems installation, visit us online.
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