A craft brewery has a lot of moving parts. They facilitate the production of great craft beer, while simultaneously exposing the brewery itself to potential equipment malfunction and breakdown that can halt production, frustrate customers, and damage the brewery’s bottom line, Beall Brewery Insurance points out.
According to The Hanover Insurance Group, the packaging line (whether bottling or canning) has the most moving parts of any piece of brewery equipment and, if damaged, can bring a brewery to its metaphorical knees for at least the short term.
Craft brewers need to keep in mind the need for oversight not only of brewing equipment, but also of the non-brewing equipment that is vital to producing and storing craft beer—glycol lines, cold rooms, and so on.
A robust maintenance schedule can help prevent small issues from developing into big problems that negatively impact equipment performance. Regular inspections can also help to expose problems before they can get out of control.
Remember, craft brewery equipment breakdown doesn’t only impact craft beer production and the brewery’s finances: it can also cause injury to workers, contractors, and customers, exposing the brewery to workers comp issues and liability claims.
That’s what happened to one Texas craft brewery after a fermentation tank exploded during a brewery tour in 2012. Tour-goers were showered with beer, the tank crashed though a wall of the brewery, and nearly two years after the incident, two members of the tour filed suit against the brewery claiming they suffered injuries and damages, including medical expenses, loss of earnings, pain and anguish, and physical impairment and disfigurement. They further alleged that the brewery owner failed to ensure the safety of the tank.
Breweries are filled with potential hazards, but consistent, thorough equipment maintenance and housekeeping will go a long way toward preventing accidents.
For more than 25 years, Beall Financial and Insurance Services, Inc., has been helping corporations and individuals protect their most important assets. The agency’s client base covers a spectrum of niche businesses, such as craft breweries, that require specialized insurance packages and knowledge. With California offices in Redlands and Newport Beach, Beall Financial and Insurance Services serves clients nationwide.