Let's Raise a glass for POLYCAST!
Tom Ayers and three of his buddies were all home craft brewers and would meet often to discuss the finer things in life – with beer mugs in hand, of course. Sharing a passion for crafting, one of these friends, Brian, approached Ayers about starting a brewery. During a planning stage that lasted one year, the four friends agreed they wanted to keep their day jobs until Ill Mannered Brewery was firmly established.
The entrepreneurs realized they needed some financial help, so they raised much-needed funds with an exclusive event that also provided a unique opportunity to recognize contributors. Partnering with a local glass blower, each attendee of the event was treated to an artistically crafted one-of-a-kind glass mug and for their first Ill Mannered drink for free. The mugs are now proudly displayed in the brewery for members of the “Groundbreakers Club” to easily find and use each time they visit.
Ill Mannered Brewery opened its doors in Powell, Ohio in September 2015. Since then, they’ve added their own special touch, having over 60 different blends with 30 of the more popular brews being featured in the summer months. Ayers said they take a lot of pride in their seasonal brewing efforts. “In the summer we focus on pales and blonde shandies. We use the winter months to really experiment with flavors such as darks and barley wines,” he said. This ability to experiment allows a frequent rotation of new beers. Chances are that when you stop in there will be a new delicious concoction for you to experience and enjoy.
They’ve become well known for giving memorable names to their brews. Their flagship drink – a fruity, well balanced IPA called “Powell, Right in the Kisser” – quickly became a crowd favorite. Ayers admitted that he has a harder time deciding his personal favorite. “I like all of them; they are like your children,” Ayers said. “It’s hard to pick a favorite but I’m slightly partial to a Belgian we named ‘Fat Bottomed Girl.’”
The response to their brewery was so overwhelming that after six months, Ayers began working for Ill Mannered full-time as the Chief Mad Man & Head Brewer. It didn’t take long for them to realize their 1,000 sq ft space was too small. By May 2016, they were looking for a new home but couldn’t find anything that met their needs. In passing, their current landlord mentioned wanting to build on the green space near the existing structure. The guys jumped on his offer and began planning their expansion.
The expansion took a little longer to complete because of city permits, planning and zoning boards. But with a shovel and about 40 of their biggest fans winessing the groundbreaking of Ill Mannered Brewery’s latest 3,000 sq ft project in February 2019, the expansion was realized.
Trench Drain Install
Ayers is excited by the growth potential they’ll have thanks to the installed POLYCAST® 600 drain system.
“Our current set up is terrible. It’s plastic, cracked, isn’t sloped very well and drains very slow,” Ayers lamented. “This new system has a ‘U’ set up that allows all of the fermenters to face inwards without slowing down production. Not only will it speed up our current production but there’s plenty of room for growth.”
The POLYCAST® 600 was selected by Don Kirkham from Kirkham Building Solutions, Inc. He had searched online and found that Trench Drain Systems provided the most information about draining solutions for the brewing industry. He was pleased to find that there was a more economical choice for drainage channels with POLYCAST® compared to stainless steel.
The POLYCAST® drain system has a unique blend of either a polyester (140°F and minimal chemical resistance) or vinyl ester resin (180°F and high chemical resistance) and concrete that make it perfect for the brewing industry. When creating craft beers, there is a lot of heat and chemicals involved in the brewing process. You need a drain that can hold up to the harsh and sometimes caustic conditions. Other materials can break down, crack or even melt due to the high temperatures of the liquid runoff.
Chris Lawler and Blake Tayerle from Emergency Plumbing Service installed the channel. Although they’d not used a suspended trench drain before, the installers completed the drain installation in preparation for the next two phases: a first concrete pour to keep the channel stabilized and a second to complete the floor. The duo installed a total of 40’ when it was all said and done. “It’s a pretty stout system,” Lawler said.
Cramped quarters meant that Ill Mannered Brewery only had production space for 400 barrels of their equipment’s 500-barrel capacity. Though production will slow as operations move between the two facilities, Ayers says that once they are up and running in August he anticipates hitting the 500 barrel-mark this year with the potential to double that in the next two years.
Trench Drain Systems is the leading supplier of drainage systems for distilleries, breweries and micro-breweries throughout the United States. Having worked with over 100 breweries, our experts are ready to help. Trench Drain Systems has an extensive line of trench drain channels, grates and catch basins, and can help you find cost-effective options for your new and expanding brewery. Contact us for a free quote or for further information on drainage solutions visit TrenchDrain.com or DrainageKits.com
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