Running a brewery can be a daunting task. Not only do you need to monitor a dozen different things at once, but you must also make sure your brewery is stable for the long haul.
A brewery is a unique combination of many different things that can affect a brewery, especially brewery flooring.
In most industries, flooring and floor coatings are arbitrary, if not purely aesthetic considerations, but brewery floors are not.
As with all food and beverage related industries, breweries have a plethora of laws and regulations to deal with in order to successfully stay on the market.
Many of these regulations are directly related to the cleanliness of their production facilities.
In the past, breweries may have been reserved spaces for craft beer makers and brewers. However, breweries are now a major destination for beer lovers and vacationers to test new products.
As the number of visitors increases, so does the responsibility for health and safety issues. Among these issues, flooring is a priority.
The right flooring can prevent slips, trips and hygiene problems caused by bacteria. However, it is not only a safety issue, but also a matter of complying with strict regulations.
All brewery floors are required by law to meet strict sanitation requirements.
Based on ALSTON Brew’s decades of experience with brewing equipment, it appears that breweries typically need to have their floors re-floored every seven years to maintain compliance with local sanitation regulations.
If you want your brewery floor to serve you for many years, it must be some of the strongest materials available. It needs to be manufactured with special chemicals to ensure the floor is strong and healthy.
In addition, the flooring needs to be multi-functional in order to stay strong in the face of severe abuse.
To help you get and keep your brewery flooring as strong as possible, let us present tips when choosing flooring to ensure that your brewery flooring won't fail when you need it most.
Throughout the life of a brewery floor, it can be subjected to varying degrees of abuse. Floors need to withstand the impact of different equipment and machinery, such as kegs, forklifts, carts, pallets, brewery equipment and other heavy equipment that slides across the floor.
These things can weigh thousands of pounds, which means your floor should be able to handle them if you want to prevent breakdowns.
Use a flooring paint to protect bare concrete from abuse and epoxy to mark areas that should not be stepped on. Polyurethane is also great for reinforcing concrete, making it more difficult to crack.
It prevents any chemicals from seeping into the floor's memory and causing damage to it.
As you know, a brewery is a very slippery place. You will need to deal with spills in the brewery, so using a non-slip floor is essential.
You should add some anti-slip additives to your brewery's resin flooring to ensure that it provides greater traction when the floor is smooth.
Preventing slips and falls will not only save you the cost of potentially damaged product, but it will also prevent you from paying for any lawsuits due to employees slipping and falling or getting injured on the floor.
Slips and falls are the most common form of injury, costing breweries up to $16,000 per year in lost sick days and paid time off.
Your brewery flooring is not only subject to spills, but can also be exposed to a variety of harsh and corrosive chemicals. Whether it's maltase, salt, sugar, yeast, alcohol, acids or cleaning agents, your brewery flooring should be able to handle it without deterioration. You need to make sure the flooring material can withstand these chemicals and add a chemical-resistant coating if needed. To prevent large-scale accidents, your flooring and coatings need to be able to withstand long-term exposure to any type of chemical.
While it's great to use non-slip flooring, you also need to be able to drain excess water quickly when a spill occurs. This is where proper drainage comes into play.
There are many different types of drains that can be used, but not all of them are suitable for breweries.
✱ Fixed-point drains require sloping and extra effort to direct the liquid to an outlet on the floor. This type of drain is usually not suitable for breweries.
✱ Trench drains are the most common type of drain, but are generally not suitable for breweries. Trench drains are covered by large grates that can break over time and cause falls and injuries. In addition, there are many nooks and crannies inside the trench drain light that are ideal for bacteria to live in. These types of drains are expensive to clean and are often clogged with debris. If these bacteria are not properly removed from the drain, it can lead to illness or contamination.
✱ Slotted drains are the most popular drainage method for breweries. This type of drain is thin and long, and can span the entire length of the brewery.
Because of its small size, this drain does not require a cover and can be easily driven or walked on. Slotted drains are made of stainless steel and are designed in such a way that bacteria will not grow in the nooks or crannies.
In addition, because they have a very smooth surface, they can be easily cleaned with a flushing solution. Of course, this is also the most cost-effective way to divert water.
Brewery floors must be free of holes and have no cracks or crevices to collect bacteria. In addition, it is desirable to have anti-biotic properties to further prevent the growth of harmful organisms.
There are certain areas in the brewery that will remain wet, as well as other areas that must remain dry. This aspect should be fully considered when selecting a floor.
Reducing environmental impact
Green is becoming increasingly important to consumers. For breweries (especially small breweries), they need to be able to demonstrate their environmental friendliness in order to attract more environmentally conscious drinkers.
What are the options for brewery flooring?
✱ Epoxy - A thick epoxy coating on top of concrete is a very popular choice because it is low cost and durable. Epoxy does not last as long as some other options, but it is relatively easy and inexpensive to add more floor coating as it wears out.
✱ Urethane - Urethane is one of the top choices for food and beverage facilities who want a high-quality and long-lasting practical option for their floors. It is slip resistant,
has high sanitary properties and can be laid on a completely seamless surface to eliminate cracks and crevices where microorganisms can grow.
✱ Methyl Methacrylate (MMA) - MMA is one of the fastest curing options for demanding flooring, making it an excellent choice for time-critical facilities, while still offering all the benefits of other flooring types such as polyurethane.
In addition, it is available in a variety of colors and can even have additives such as quartz crystals added for a better aesthetic.
✱ Metal Epoxy - Planning to showcase your brewery to investors or customers? Metallic epoxy has all the benefits of regular epoxy, but with a truly unique textured glass-like appearance that is visually stunning.
It can also be treated for extra slip resistance. It is the high-tech flooring to match high-tech production facilities.
If you want to prevent any type of floor failure in your brewery and potentially spend thousands of dollars on repairs, follow the tips in this article. Proper drainage will solve many of your flooring problems,
but also ensure that your floor is shock resistant, chemically resistant, slip resistant and durable for best results. Checking all of these tips should prepare you for a long and prosperous brewing career.