As Craft Breweries Rise, so do Opportunities for Thermomass and Meadow Burke in Tilt-Up

September 26, 2016 3:13 pm


Since 1980, America’s craft beer scene has grown rapidly due to the increase of sales and production of local beer and breweries. This rapid growth has initiated an interest in Tilt-Up construction using insulated wall panels as many breweries are beginning to turn to more innovative construction methods to provide their customers with the best quality brews. But why Tilt-Up construction with insulated wall panels?

Tilt-Up construction offers a quicker, more economical and efficient way of casting wall panels with insulation systems. In tilt-up construction, wall panels are formed on-site with the building floor slab as the primary casting surface. This helps eliminate the cost of transporting panels to the site. The insulation for the panels is sandwiched between the walls to help provide the brewery with a stable and temperature controlled environment to ensure a pristine final product.

As the craft beer scene grows, so do partnership opportunities for Meadow Burke and Thermomass to offer the total efficient construction solution. So how much is the craft beer scene growing? According to the Brewers Association, craft breweries were producing 16% more beer in the beginning of 2015 and by the summer, 3,739 more breweries in the U.S. had opened. With thousands of local breweries operating today, the craft beer industry now represents a 12% market share of the total beer market as reported by Brewers Association.

But when and how did craft beer begin? As this article by Bourbon & Broadleaf states, the craft brewery scene all started in 1976 in Sonoma, California by the father of craft brewing, John “Jack” McAuliffe, at his New Albion Brewing company where he explored new flavors and began brewing specialized style ales. He experimented with spices and new ingredients that had never been introduced to beer before. For instance, Jack would add an entire hot pepper in special bottles of his pale ale. Despite the brewery going under in 1982, Jack continued innovating different styles of beer that are now a commonplace in the craft beer industry today. His legacy lives out in some of the modern pioneers of the craft beer industry in people like Sam Calagione of Dogfish Head Brewery, Jim Koch at the Boston Beer Company, and Garrett Oliver at The Brooklyn Brewery.

More craft breweries began to stake a claim in the growing industry by introducing their own styles of beer that would continue to change the landscape of beer in America. With brewing beer comes the actual location where the process takes place, the brewery! Today, the most commonly known brewery types are microbreweries, where smaller batches or fewer barrels are produced and macro breweries, where a larger number of barrels are produced each year.

The size of the brewery plays a critical role in determining its needs for maintenance and beer production. Depending on the type of brewery, the building process can be difficult and frustrating. Beer production alone can require specific equipment such as brew kettles, mash tuns, fermenters and aging tanks. However, Tilt-Up construction methods make the building production of the brewery easier, and quicker leaving brewers feeling less stressed about the process.

One brewery that has used Tilt-Up construction is Avery Brewing Company. Just last year, Avery Brewing Company opened its new $27 million facility using tilt-up construction in Boulder, Colorado to keep up with the ever-increasing demand of its craft brews.

Known for producing unconventional craft beer, the journey at Avery Brewing Company began in 1993 by father and son, Larry and Adam Avery. In 2003, they opened their first tap room and began to experiment with barrel aging beer. Seven years after, in 2010, Avery Brewing began canning beer and then their barrel series a year later. Their award-winning beers, such as the Out of Bounds Stout, as well as their legacy of being the first brewery to package the first Imperial Pale Ale in Colorado has made Avery a well know brewery across the nation. To keep up with demand driven by their increasing crowds and beer fans, Avery Brewery decided to expand their facilities and therefore opened their dream brewery in February of 2015.

The two-story brewpub was built using tilt-up construction with insulated wall panels to provide the brewery with energy-efficiency, temperature and moisture control. The process began with the exterior layer of concrete being poured. Once the concrete was leveled, the pre-fabricated and pre-drilled insulation sheets were arranged on top of the unhardened concrete according to the individual panel drawings. The patented Thermomass connectors were then inserted through the predrilled holes. After placing lifting devices, bracing inserts were required to provide reinforcement and then the structural wythe was poured. Once cured, these panels were then lifted into place to form the building envelope. The high strength of the Thermomass connectors held the sandwiched layers of concrete and insulation secure during the entire process.\

The use of tilt-up of Avery Brewery not only provided partnership opportunities with Meadow Burke and Thermomass but was also the deciding factor in co-hosting their customer appreciation event at the Avery facility during the 2016 Tilt-Up Concrete Association (TCA) event. The event will feature a job tour which will go through the construction details of the tilt-up and insulated walls process as well as a brewery tour and of course craft brews which making it the perfect location for the event!