While I am never quite sure how much folks want to read and see "how the sausage is made," so to speak, one of the reasons we decided to create a blog during the construction process was so that people can witness all the incredible work being done to rehabilitate the Hollar Hosiery Mill from its former derelict state into a state-of-the-art brewing facility and retail development. The shear scope of the work being undertaken and accomplished by the developers, engineers and construction crew needs to be documented and, in my mind, celebrated! So, I hope you appreciate the following as much as Skull Coast does.
While it might be a little difficult to make out the intertwining rivers of plumbing and electrical lines from the above image, the developers and engineers determined recently that they needed to beef up both the plumbing and electrical due to special considerations of both our space location (under a restaurant) and future expansion plans.
Specifically, since the Skull Coast Brewery will be located underneath a restaurant, with only wood floors separating the two entities, we need to condition the entire brewing space.
Most microbreweries are not thoroughly temperature controlled. In fact, during the summer, they can get downright Hot! But, since heat rises and we reside directly underneath a restaurant, the brewery can't become, what would in effect be, a "hot-plate" for their customers.
The "hot-plate" analogy becomes quite literal when you take into consideration that unlike most breweries the kettle boil heat cannot escape through the ceiling (or through the restaurant upstairs). Therefore, Bavarian Brewing Technologies is actually designing a custom condenser unit that will convert the boil vapor down into the brewery drains. With boil temps above 200+ degrees, even with the cold water spray from the custom condenser unit, heat factors inside the brewery would become too intense. Without the additional conditioning units to offset, the humidity would also erode our wood ceiling or the restaurant's flooring. And, no one wants that. So, the engineers and developers determined that the only option was to create a state-of-the-art temperature controlled brewery. The additional electrical seen in both images (above and right) was therefore necessary.
The Taproom also created additional plumbing and electrical considerations.
As many have seen, the Skull Coast Taproom design is rather intricate and complex. We actually have the skeletal hull of a ship arching over the Taproom bar with lighting fixtures attached to the ends and hanging down.
We also wanted to light the bar from underneath to create a eerie look and highlight the reclaimed wood bar.
The two combined obviously creates a number of electrical issues to deal with, so the engineers had to redesign. In the image to the left, you can see how they beefed up their electrical package to deal with both the lighting and other electrical needs we will have for the Taproom bar.
Plumbing for the Taproom bar was an entirely different animal.
Apparently, according to code a certain number of sinks, a dishwasher, and the appropriate drainage needed to be updated that were not accounted for in the previous Taproom bar design.
Thankfully, the development and construction team caught these requirements before they poured the cement floor. Otherwise, they would have had to pull up a reclaimed wood floor and jack-hammered into a freshly laid cement floor to install the piping for the new plumbing. It would have been a nightmare!
Okay, I sincerely hope that I didn't get too far into the weeds about the construction process with the Brewery. I just find everything that the development, engineers and construction crew going through so fascinating.
Just know, no corner has been cut. The folks behind and working everyday on this project are interested in only one thing: Building a state-of-the-art brewing facility and development that the entire Hickory community can enjoy and be proud of. While the people behind this project have never sought any sort of attention for their efforts, I, and the entire Skull Coast crew, will forever be grateful for the preservation of this historic landmark and for what they have done for our company.