Guarantee Electrical Company’s (Guarantee) Illinois Branch joined with its frequent partner, Korte & Luitjohan Contractors to supply electrical construction for the Ardent Spirits/Old Harold Brewing Company conversion project. In essence, the assignment involved turnkey electrical construction supplying power and lighting for a brewer distillery’s spirits production facility with attached brew house/pub-restaurant. Combining a retail dining/entertainment space with an industrial-grade brewing/distilling facility, Ardent’s expansion encompassed building out a new kitchen, event space on top of expanded restaurant seating, plus a publically visible and fully-operational beer and distilled spirits production facility.
The Ardent Spirits/Old Harold Brewing Company project proved to be a turnkey implementation for Guarantee’s Illinois Branch, but it was hardly routine. The project entailed converting the old Collinsville Herald newspaper building into a production brewery/distillery together with a full restaurant with seating for 120, plus an event space. Combining the Guarantee industrial skill set around food & beverage production with more or less standard commercial retail, the project illustrates the Illinois team’s flexibility and attention to the details of a demanding technical assignment. Bringing power and light to an industrial challenge was balanced by the fact that every component on the production side of the facility was designed as a showplace for the artisanship associated with contemporary craft brewing and distilling custom spirits. All the equipment was state-of-the contemporary brewing/distillery arts. For example, the Ardent Spirts distillery deploys an advanced design that adapts a three-chambered traditional copper still, capable of “triple distillation” designed to enable manufacturing custom recipes for virtually any type of distilled beverage.
Serving as Korte & Luitjohan’s design-assist partner, Guarantee supplied constructability drawings for guiding an interdisciplinary implementation for accurate installations of the plant’s specialized equipment, fully integrating custom plumbing, HVAC and the unique mechanical systems for a combined brewing/distillery production system. These involved adapting some rather sophisticated rough-in’s for meeting a diversity of needs for power in accommodating two distinct production cycles. In detail, brewing and distilling processes (from boiler and pumps for managing fermentation, etc. to mill, auger and controls for grain-handling, etc.), a walk-in cooler, and temperature-controlled cellar for storing finished product, each with corresponding requirements for temperature control and storage. Meanwhile, the combined spaces had another very different set of needs for power and light serving a gourmet kitchen, a 120-seat restaurant and an event space with room for another 75 or 80 separate and additional customers.
As with most complex production environments, the “devil is in the details.” Guarantee’s electrical design, as always, brought constructability to the forefront, simplifying staging work at each phase of the installation. In addition, Guarantee supplied rough-in for a horizontal network for AV communications, as well as an intrusion alarm system. Both fire alarm and fire suppression systems were included as part of the installation per applicable codes, including the current NFPA safety systems, which require equipping the space with voice activated mass notification/evacuation audio. All, indispensable where highly flammable spirits are ubiquitous in both the production and serving environments.
Begun in April 2018, the Brewery/Distillery enjoyed its grand opening January 4, 2019. Kept within an exacting six-month construction schedule, the project stayed on budget and was completed successfully without any lost time incident or injury.
- Provided a new 600-amp 277/480 volt 3-phase 4-wire underground service, including a pole-mounted utility transformer along with distribution throughout the building capable of supplying both retail and industrial grade power and lighting throughout. This additional layer of infrastructure, necessitated building out a principal 600-amp 270/480 control panel with separate 120/208 panel and a third 480-120/208V kitchen panel with transformers to match and all necessary metering
- Provided architectural (including exterior site lighting) along with production lighting & controls, including emergency sensors, fixtures plus a second layer of digital lighting management (DLM) technology (supported by both infrared & ultrasonic occupancy sensors) and new, expanded fire alarm/fire suppression systems
- For the brewery/distillery equipment, GECO supplied all instrument/controls wiring rough-in with power and connectivity to a full array of specialized equipment including grain-handling, mash-mixing, fermentation vats, distillers, etc. The assignment included powering the facility’s process controls, storage coolers and refrigeration systems