In its first year of business in 2012, Lakewood Brewing Company produced just less than 3,000 barrels of craft beer. Now, only five years later and with rapid building and production expansion behind them, Lakewood is brewing over 10,000 barrels per year. Management at this Texas brewery attributes their fast growth to their ‘do-it-right the first time’ philosophy combined with beers that offer a unique flavor.
Born in Belgium, Lakewood Brewing’s President and Founder Wim Bens graduated from the Southern Methodist University and the American Brewer’s Guild. Soon after, he decided to open a family-owned craft brewery where he could create his own distinctive blends. After a year and a half of planning, building, and installing equipment, he opened Lakewood Brewing in a growing community in east Dallas.
One important decision for the new brewery in the planning stages was to choose a cooling system for controlling the fermentation tank temperature and other parts of the process. “At that time, we looked around to see what everybody else was doing,” explains Billy Bettencourt, Lakewood Brewing’s Facilities Manager, who has been on board since the beginning. “Our primary goal for choosing a system was one that didn’t condensate. We also wanted it to be easy to install. From talking to people in the industry about their experiences, we quickly learned what we did, and didn’t, want to use. When someone was displeased with a product they had, we knew right off the bat we didn’t want to go that route!”
From their research, Lakewood found that some of the established breweries had installed the COOL-FIT® ABS Plus system from GF Piping Systems. COOL-FIT is a corrosion free pre-insulated plastic piping system that can handle water-based coolants from -58°F to +104°F (-50°C to +40°C) at an operating pressure of up to 10 bar within diameters of ¾” to 12” (d25 to d315). The system’s core pipe is made of COOL-FIT ABS, which is insulated with high density closed cell polyurethane foam and protected with a water-tight, UV resistant black polyethylene jacket. The entire system is vapor tight and shows no thermal bridges, which minimize energy loss along the lines. Because of properties, the piping system is ideal for beer production as well as food and beverage production environments.