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Engineering the Perfect Pint

In recent years, the craft brewing industry in North Carolina has exploded. From the various local breweries popping up in every county, to the 144 NC beers available at the record-breaking Raleigh Beer Garden, a locally brewed pint is never too far away. In early 2017, Kris and Dana Bengtson played an integral role in making this true for the residents of Garner, NC by opening Brice’s Brewing Company, the first commercial brewery and taproom to be constructed in their town.

An interesting part of craft brewing is that patrons are actually curious about how the beer is made, not just how it tastes. When the Bengtson’s started planning Brice’s Brewing, they knew they needed an engineer who could both facilitate construction and implementation and who cared about the process and outcome as much as they did.

Planning the Pour
As expected, effort put into upfront planning plays a huge role in your project’s success and performance not only today, but five years from now. It’s important to identify answers to questions like: How much power will the system need? Does the site location have a good water supply? Does the leasing agreement allow for key provisions? Answers to these questions help prevent major issues down the line.

For example, it was important that the Brice’s Brewery location had proper utilities for electric heating. Although it’s popular to use gas or direct fire to heat the kettle needed to boil beer, the Bengtson’s wanted to create a completely electric heating tank. Making sure that the proper equipment was set in place to tackle this goal was top priority.

Building the Taproom
Armed with a budget and timeframe, Acropolis provided engineering support from planning to final implementation. Our team reviewed submittals and directed outside vendors while providing the following services for Brice’s Brewing:

  • Front-end engineering — lighting, power and special systems
  • Budget estimation
  • Factory Acceptance Test (FAT), Site Acceptance Test (SAT) and equipment startup
  • Specification of brewery components
  • Submittal review
  • Construction sequencing support
  • Local/state code analysis
  • Control panel fabrication
  • Field installation support

Specialized Engineer Helps Build a Brewery
People have asked us — why would an engineering, procurement and construction management firm help build a brewery. There are quite a few reasons we make a good fit.

Increase the quality of the design and build through integrated delivery
With Brice’s Brewing, Acropolis handled the design, specification, purchasing and management of the control panel fabrication. This provided a higher level of control over the end product’s quality. With Acropolis as the go-to engineering group, there was also a better insight into the entire project and how all of the individual components interacted.

Minimize unknowns through planning and preparation.
Work with Brice’s Brewing began well before the logo was selected. Having a licensed engineer on-board early in the planning helped in one of the biggest engineering selections — the building space. This helped Kris and Dana negotiate their current lease and the landlord even installed a new breaker at no cost.

Create accurate front-end estimation that allows you to better plan your capital expenditures.
Acropolis helped Brice’s Brewing create estimates for equipment, instrumentation, controls and accessories. This allowed the Bengtson’s to more accurately estimate their startup expenditures and provide more reliable data to their investors.

Success Is Flowing
By working as an integrated team, Acropolis was able to get Brice’s Brewing Company open and pouring ahead of schedule. Today, Kris and Dana cannot keep enough beer on tap! And, the brewery has generated more than double the volume than what they originally expected it would. The Town of Garner now has a new unique attraction and is helping to expand the growing craft brewery community.