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Sprinkler Requirement for Brewery/Tasting Room

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  • Sprinkler Requirement for Brewery/Tasting Room

    I was looking at a location yesterday and it seemed to be solid. It had enough space for the brewing and a tasting room, it was zoned properly and it even had a little outside beer garden area. One problem: I asked if the building/complex was sprinklered and the owner immediately said no and just backed away. I didn't know this but they are extremely expensive (10s of thousands) to install sprinklers from scratch due to the cost of the risers/pumps to run it to the building.

    It is possible to have the brewery and tasting room without the sprinklers? Could the walls/windows be covered in something that would work? Where should I start to ask the question: city, county and/or state?

    I will be operating a 2BBL brewhouse/tasting room in San Mateo County, California if that information is helpful.


  • #2
    Sprinkler requirements, I'm almost positive, are fire code issues, therefore the local fire marshall would likely be the smart place to start. If they're not it, they'll know who to point you to. But I'm pretty sure its them.


    • #3
      It's definitely a local code issue. It also depends on whether the brewery and tasting room are totally separate or not. You may be able to put a fire wall between the 2 areas and that might suffice. Or maybe not. It's A LOT of grey area when dealing with codes. Make friends with your local guy and he might guide you to the cheapest path for your business...
      Hutch Kugeman
      Head Brewer
      Brooklyn Brewery at the Culinary Institute of America
      Hyde Park, NY


      • #4
        The fire marshall would be the one to ask. One thing to consider is to ask whether the water service is sufficient to supply the fire suppression system. The city made us install a whole new 4 inch water main to supply the system. With the cost of excavation, the new water tap, and the sprinkler system everything was more than 60 grand which was way more than we thought it would be.