The craft beer industry has grown significantly in recent years, with 8,275 craft breweries operating in the U.S. in 2019. If you’re thinking about entering the fray and opening up your own place, you’re probably focused on the beer and the location. But what about the flooring? While installing flooring might not be at the top of your mind, choosing the right flooring system is essential to ensuring cleanliness and safety.
Back of the House
The back of the house is the heart of the brewery, where you’ll spend time perfecting your brewing process and producing unique beer flavors to attract your customers. But creating beer requires hot liquids, yeast and other ingredients that can wind up on the floor, posing a safety risk for those working on the product.
Your back of the house floors need to withstand spills, moisture, cleaning chemicals, hot water and regular wear and tear from foot and wheeled traffic. Poor flooring can lead to gaps or cracks that leave the brewery vulnerable to safety hazards, like bacterial growth and contamination. You need non-porous, anti-slip, easy to clean floors in order to keep your brewery running.
Seamless floors are a good option because they are easy to clean. There isn’t any space for dirt to accumulate or bacteria to hide and grow, so cleaning is fast and maintenance is easy. A high-quality floor will also withstand cleaning chemicals, acids, or hot water washdowns, which cause rapid temperature changes that can result in thermal shock.
The flooring you pick also needs to prevent the pooling of water. If water pools, it can cause a number of problems, such as potential bacterial growth and slip-fall hazards. It can even cause the failure of FDA/3rd party audits. These problems will cost you time and money, so picking out good flooring in the first place can save you headaches further down the road.
You’ll also want to make sure the flooring is correctly sloped so liquids can quickly be drained from the floor’s surface. Commercial drains vary in size and shape, so you will need a floor installer with experience in breweries, or you could end up with water and materials sitting in the drain, which can be a sanitation and contamination issue.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure the floor is slip-resistant in order to keep employees, customers and touring patrons safe. Slip resistance is achieved with texture, floors with higher levels of texture are more difficult to clean. A flooring expert will be able to help you choose an appropriate level of texture for the different areas of your brewery.
Front of the House
The front area of the brewery does not need quite as heavy-duty protection, but you’ll still want anti-slip, easy to clean flooring. This is the area where guests will try your different products, so there is bound to be a spill from time to time. Even if you choose a flooring system that is different from what you used in the back of the house, you’ll want something that can withstand spills and stains and high levels of foot traffic. A good option for this is decorative epoxy flooring because it allows for the use of different colors, patterns, finishes and even your brewery’s logo. This will give your brewery an inviting look while maintaining safety and compliance.
Case Study: Field Brewing
Surface Solutions has experience working with breweries, having installed the flooring of Field Brewing in Westfield, Indiana in 2018. For this project, we used Ucrete flooring, which can be installed quickly with minimal drying and curing time. This type of flooring has a higher resin content that does not need an additional sealer coat, which can prevent problems in the future because sealer coats can wear away in time, leaving a floor porous and unprotected. Ucrete resists physical abuse, moisture, bacterial growth and a wide range of aggressive chemicals. It outperforms traditional epoxy flooring surfaces in both impact resistance from heavy traffic and the ability to withstand thermal shock.
Our industrial flooring specialists installed a 1,800 square-foot application of Ucrete UD200 plus 250 linear feet of 2-inch and 45-degree wedge cant cove base with Ucrete RG. On top of this strong and durable floor, Field Brewing runs a brewhouse, cooling room, serving bar, and gastropub, offering locally-prepared food and beverages. The entire flooring project took only two quick days from start to finish. This helped the brewery get up and running as quickly as possible for the Westfield community.
For more information about installing the right flooring in your brewery, connect with Surface Solutions, Inc. We’ve been a Ucrete Master Contractor since 2012 and are a leading provider of top-quality flooring for the food and beverage industry. From testing to consultation and complete installation services, Surface Solutions is a premiere source of non-toxic, safe and environmentally friendly flooring systems, offering turnkey installations using only in-house personnel. Contact Surface Solutions today to learn more about how we can help provide the highest quality industrial flooring solutions for your business.