Sep 12, 2012 2:57 AM by Jeanette Trompeter
Firestone Walker Brewing Company has begun brewing beer at its new brew-house at the brewery in Paso Robles. Co-proprietor Adam Firestone says the new 60-barrel brew-house is state-of-the art, and not only maximizes quality, but improves efficiency and offers up a better brewery tour experience. "We are always aiming to make the next brew better than the last," says Firestone. "The difference may be tiny, but it needs to be measurable and constant. The new brew-house is our latest investment in this mission."
The brewhouse occupies a new three-story tower that has been integrated into the front of the brewery building. The tower now serves as the brewery's primary visual icon and features broad glass walls on two sides of the second story, providing a permanent window into the brewing process.
"Back in my university days, while home-brewing in my garage in Kalamazoo, Michigan, I dreamed of one day having a brew-house like the ones I had seen while traveling through Europe on foreign study," said Brew-master Matt Brynildson. "That day has finally arrived."
The brew-house was installed with extensive custom features made to meet Brynildson's vision for maximizing beer quality, including his personal modifications for milling, hop dosing, and kettle efficiency. "By the time we got done with it, it essentially became a full-blown custom hot rod brew-house," Brynildson said.
He says it also improves the overall efficiency of the brewing process, in terms of both manpower and resources. "We elected every option possible to save on energy and water consumption without compromising the quality of our beers," said Mark Fischer, the brewery's plant engineer. "We will now be able to brew the same amount of beer using half the amount of energy as before."
The tower design of the brew-house allows the Firestone-Walker crew to use gravity to move ingredients when applicable. It was designed by local architect Val Milosevic and incorporates design features that honor two iconic structures in the Paso Robles region-the Farmer's Alliance building in Paso Robles, and the Templeton Feed & Grain building in the nearby hamlet of Templeton.
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