Exile Brewing Co.
Des Moines, Iowa
Founded in 2012, Exile Brewing Co.’s beers are now a staple in pubs, restaurants and retail outlets across the state. The brand’s growing popularity prompted the need for greater efficiencies and production rates. After purchasing equipment aimed at supporting production and reducing the manual collection and disposal of spent grains, Exile Brewing contracted Baker Group for the installation. This ultimately required extensive process expertise, which involved several Baker Group services:
- Sheet Metal
- Architectural Metal
- Compressed Air
“We worked with Exile Brewing to understand their needs and then determine how to optimize performance from the purchased equipment. As it turned out, getting the most out of the equipment required many modifications,” says David Hanks, a Baker Group Project Manager.
Gaining Process Efficiencies
* Overcome CO2 pressure losses. Exile Brewing’s CO2 tanks were inadequate to simultaneously support fermentation, packaging and restaurant bar operations. Baker Group designed and installed a new CO2 manifold and pressure regulators that now provide consistent support for all operations.
* Install high-capacity boiler. The existing boiler was also not able to support all the brewery’s equipment. Baker Group engineers helped size a new high-pressure boiler and design the steam pipe layout to increase production capacity and efficiency.
* Reduce labor associated with expending spent grain. Prior to this project, Exile Brewing’s staff manually loaded and moved approximately 30 large bins of spent grain from the basement to a dock for weekly pickup. To virtually eliminate the time-intensive task, Baker Group installed a pump, piping and automation that now moves spent grain from the brewhouse and into a silo. Baker Group also installed an auger that moves grain from the silo into trucks.
Hanks adds, “The process piping for this project was difficult. However, our foreman on this project – Alex Petersen – and our skilled labor overcame the challenges and completed the installation within a very short timeframe. The result is not just efficient, high-quality and easy-to-use, but it also looks clean and professional.”
While this project primarily relied on Baker Group specialties, other trades were also needed. “To keep costs and headaches to a minimum, our client asked us to provide a full turn-key solution,” Hanks says. “It made sense. We understood the processes and knew what was needed.”
For example, as part of the building permit process, the City of Des Moines required a structural study of the boiler room. Because the boiler room was located immediately above a high-traffic area, additional reinforcement was required. Baker Group worked with Raker Rhodes to design a low-cost solution that caused minimal disruption and did not create an obstacle for Exile’s patrons or workers.
Hanks adds, “Since Exile Brewing opened less than a decade ago, we’ve completed several projects for the owner. It’s fun to partner with RJ and be part of his company’s growth.”