View Full Version : Brewing equipment recommendations

02-03-2007, 10:28 PM
We are in the process of converting a restaurant to a brewpub and are limited on space. I think we a going to have to stay in the 5bbl range. But with only 120 seats, I don't imagine we'll need much more...hey, if we get that busy, we'll need to build an addition!!! :D
Anyway, we are looking at turnkey systems and wanted to get some recommendations/experiences with the different brands.
Any I want to stay away from?
Any you really recommend?
Thanks in advance.

02-04-2007, 06:39 AM
Im not sure what your demographics are but we just did this about a year ago. We took an old restaurant and added on about 800 square feet for the brewery. We put a 7bbl brewery in. Well lets put it this way were already looking for 14 bbl fermenters so that we can double batch and keep up with the demand. Just my two cents, but I would go with the largest system you can put in your place, atleast 7bbl. If I can help with anything else please dont hesitate in private messageing me. Good Luck with your project.


02-04-2007, 12:38 PM
I'm with Kyle on this one. I'm brewing for a 115 seat restaurant (145 seats in summer) and there are definitely times when my 7 bbl system can't keep up. If y ou're okay with running out of beer from time to time, then you'd probably survive with a 5 bbl, but that's pretty small. You might be able to get away with it if you have a bunch of fermenters (at least 4) and brite tanks, you'll just have to brew more often.

I have a 7bbl JV Northwest system and am very happy with it. It's a basic setup, but it's perfect for a small brewery and restaurant.

Cheers and good luck!

02-05-2007, 07:14 AM
Thanks so much for the input. I wouldn't have thought a small town like this would generate that kind of beer business, but looking at the domographics for both of your towns in comparison to mine, it looks like I might be in trouble with a 5bbl system. I'm going to have to have a serious talk with someone who installs breweries to figure out where in the heck I'm going to fit a bigger system!

So, are either of you planning a ski trip to Colorado anytime soon??? :D


Ted Briggs
02-05-2007, 07:34 AM
If i was planning a BP I would always have at least one 2x fermenter and server. It never fail that one product becomes your best seller and having the ability to double batch is great. I agree- go with 7bbl. Also make sure one of your FV's has cone cooling for growing-up yeast. And plan for a 21 day cycle- it makes better beer than 2 weeks. Another bonus is a small gruny to transfer tank bottoms into or use for 1/2 batches of specialties. And a keg cleaner and some kegs always help too. Newlands has ben good for me as far as manufacturers. It seems I could go on and on...

02-05-2007, 12:00 PM
I wouldn't consider any brew system smaller than 7-8bbl (brewhouse) and seriously think about having one fermenter double that size (to accomodate your biggest seller!). I brewed on an 8bbl system in a small brewpub in Colorado, always wished I had a few more bbl capacity on it. Kinda' like buying a computer, buy the biggest system you can afford! You WILL grow into it! Luck to ya'!
Where in Colorado is your venture?

02-06-2007, 08:41 AM
Dave, we are in Rifle Colorado, which is about 3 hours west of Denver, 30 minutes west of Glenwood Springs, and an hour east of the Utah line right on I-70. The nearest brewpub is in Glenwood, and they brewed 1066 bbls last year. Our populations are similar, but they do have a little more of a tourist crowd.
So, I've got votes for JV Northwest and Newlands.
Any other good ones?
What about brands you don't recommend?

02-06-2007, 07:41 PM
Hiya' Docbob,
I grew up in the Roaring Fork Valley, went to school in Basalt, got REALLY drunk once in Rifle :eek: ! Anywho, the equipment brands you mentioned are very good: quality craftsmanship, good support. Behind them I'd also throw a solid nod in for Bohemian Breweries (bankrupt for a while now). Specific Mechanical does good basic systems; Pub Brewing I've found to be very average but quite workable. If you find a system that you have not heard of before, caveat emptor (buyer beware!). I'm gonna be down in your neck of the woods in March, I'd love to come and check out your operation.


02-06-2007, 10:46 PM
So you know exactly where I'm at...and I've tipped a few in Rifle more than once! :p
Of course most of those were my own homebrew concoctions!!!

Of course wont have the brewery up and running by then but you're certainly more than welcome to come by...I can't imagine any circumstance where I wouldn't have at least one or two of my brews kegged up.

Sent you a PM



02-07-2007, 09:56 PM
One supplier not yet mentioned is DME. They're top notch. Good luck.

02-13-2007, 12:10 AM
We're brewing on a Premier Stainless system now and have been pretty happy with it.