Food Engineering

Makeover reduces maintenance

January 1, 2008
Flooring proves itself in brewery expansion.

On the floor, Valspar’s Flowfresh RT was chosen in blue; on the 35-ft.-high ceiling, Flowfresh FC with Polygiene was used to resist mold and mildew. Source: Valspar.

With an annual production of 1.2 million barrels, the Boston Beer Company is the seventh largest brewery in the nation. Purchased in 1997, the Cincinnati brewery underwent a $6.5 million expansion project in 2005.

At the time of the expansion, flooring contractor E. B. Miller Contracting, Inc. installed Valspar’s Flowfresh RT on fresh concrete poured for the new facility’s walkways and base floor. The material is a non-slip, heavy-duty, rake-and-trowel urethane concrete, which is chemical-resistant and includes Polygiene, a built-in antimicrobial component.  The surface material has the same coefficient of expansion as concrete, minimizing cracking or delaminating from the concrete surface.

When it came time to refinish the original brewery’s aging filtration room, Assistant Brewing Manager Todd Roseman was convinced the same flooring would prove to be the right choice there, too. “The older section of our brewery has the unique heritage, pride and tradition that characterizes Samuel Adams beer. However, we wanted it to share in all the state-of-the-art production capabilities found in the expansion. Resurfacing the floors, walls and ceiling of the filtration room was an important part of achieving that goal.”

Filtration is the last step in brewing beer before packaging. As a rule, filtration rooms are hot and steamy, making them the perfect environment for mildew and mold growth. In this filtration room, the situation was even more challenging; the room is between several others kept cold for production, a combined environment that created so much condensation it appeared to be “raining indoors.”

Although the filtration room’s area was only 3600 sq. ft., putting in new flooring represented a formidable task. First, there was the old material to be removed, and second, crews would have to work around the brewing equipment. E.B. Miller’s crew worked six days around the clock doing the installation, while the room’s tanks, pumps, piping and other equipment remained in place.

Failing coatings were removed from the floor, walls and 35-ft. ceiling. Preparation was completed using sand blasters, scarifiers, needle guns and demo hammers. Negative pressure was maintained using a 20,000 CFM dust collector with HEPA filters. A half-inch of old epoxy, cracked from moisture becoming trapped underneath, was completely removed from the floor. Build-up on the walls and ceiling was also sandblasted to sound substrate.

On the floor pit area and walkway, E. B. Miller applied the SR version of the coating for its heavy-duty durability, 210°F thermal tolerance and slip resistance. For the ceiling, Flowfresh FC floor resurfacer was used rather than a conventional coating to deal with dew point and mildew issues.

Roseman is pleased with the results: “As great as these high-performance, long-lasting coatings look in the filtration room, the bottom-line benefit is the reduced maintenance requirements that are yielding immediate savings. Washdowns are much easier to perform, especially for the ceiling, and because the floors resist abrasion, chemicals and impact, we are not interrupting production for repairs or recoating.” u



For more information: Adam Jordan, 800-637-7793 (ext. 5050), flooringmarketing@valspar.com.