Tours to breweries have become a popular trend in the beer manufacturing industry. However, as production facilities simultaneously become tourist attractions, it has become increasingly important for brewers to focus on both aesthetics as well as function when it comes to their floors.
Floors need to not only withstand the challenges of brewing beer but also provide attractive surfaces that reflect the brewer’s brand value. Proud of their brand’s image, many craft brewers want this identity to extend into the very fabric of the building around them, especially in the production spaces, which mean a whole new set of practical issues and challenges.
Given the expansive floors in breweries, it’s important to get the colour right to set the scene. Brewers may want to reflect branding, dazzle with bold tones or inject a specific atmosphere, such as using urban greys and browns to create an industrial aesthetic. This design element is all the more imperative for breweries that allow customers into the production zone. Sites like these have to constantly present a clean and engaging space in order to impress the clientele.
The floor design also needs to factor in the ability of the flooring material to survive the daily operational activity with multiple stress points such as the movement of barrels, spillages of beer and ingredients, steam cleaning, point loading, UV exposure, impacts, foot traffic and heavy pallets, all of which will quickly take a toll on an insufficiently robust finish. A very hard-wearing material is, therefore, required to ensure the floor’s appearance survives all of these demands.
To meet the dual demands of visual appeal and durability, many breweries have utilised colourful polyurethane coatings, which are tough and long-lasting in such environments. This has been illustrated recently at a couple of leading Australian craft brewers.
Bright Brewery in Victoria installed a surface that matched its name, choosing a vivid yellow finish for the main floor area with a complementary red used for walkways. The final outcome was not only striking in appearance but also a clever way to make the site safer. The clear distinction between the two colours makes it easy for staff and customers to navigate around the facility and avoid the potentially dangerous equipment.
The White Rabbit Brewery, located in the Little Creatures Brewery Village in Victoria, chose a floor that reflected a different style. The Village was designed to give visitors an insight into the beer production process and provide customers with a fun and interesting experience.
Every inch of this area would be visible to visitors taking the brewery tour so a coral red colour was chosen for the production room’s floor that tied into the subdued traditional tones of the old-brick building as well as the iconic vintage style of the White Rabbit brand.
Polyurethane coatings from Flowcrete are quick and easy to clean thanks to the seamless and impervious nature of this material. This is a significant advantage within busy beer production environments, as it means that any spillages, dust or contaminants can be rapidly removed from the space to maintain a fresh and unblemished finish.