What is now the thriving Lord Hobo Brewing Company, located just nine miles north of Boston in Woburn, Massachusetts was an empty, cavernous 49,000 square foot warehouse just four years ago. With the vision of owner Daniel Lanigan, the vacant shell was transformed into an impressive, fully functioning brewery, opening its doors in June of 2015 and producing 5,000 barrels the first year.
Lord Hobo’s mantra is “to bring the New England craft beer experience to thirsty fans everywhere – Lords and Hobos alike – we all deserve to drink like royalty.”
The team was aware of the important role of the cooling loop in the brewing process. But the ambitious start-up was purposely planned as an inexpensive short-term means of getting the brewery operational. “The goal was to be up and running as quickly as possible,” explains John Irwin, Lord Hobo’s Maintenance and Facility Manager. “So a small PVC glycol system was installed along with a 20 ton chiller. This allowed production of the first ales within a few weeks after starting construction of the facility.”
After tripling in size after just two years of business, Lord Hobo was named by the Boston Herald (06/01/2017) as the fastest growing brewery in America. Because of this lightning speed expansion, the PVC glycol cooling system quickly became over-taxed. “With just a 300 gallon reservoir and small three-inch trunk lines coming out to supply 15 tanks, it simply didn’t have the flow or the cooling capacity to keep up with the growth rate,” explains Irwin. “Especially after 20 more tanks (much larger than the existing) were added. We knew the PVC system was not a life-time solution for the glycol run at the cold temperatures required. It becomes brittle and fails. Changing cooling systems was something that had been planned for early on and we fully expected to continue beer production during the upgrade.”