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Alabama Brewery Taps Aquatherm for First North American Food Grade Application


Avondale Brewing Company, Food Grade Beer Transport, Chilled Water, Glycol

Products Used
Green Pipe®  Blue Pipe® 
Location / Date
Birmingham, AL
November 2014

Aquatherm Advantages

  • Ownership realized significant materials and labor cost savings by using PP-R instead of steel
  • Aquatherm Pipe won’t corrode, scale, wear out or clog—even after years of use, and is ideal for direct bury applications
  • Aquatherm Piping Systems are completely free of heavy metals and toxic chemicals, which means they won’t leach any trace chemicals

The Challenge

The owners were looking for a better way of transferring their beer from one building to another


The Solution

Aquatherm Pipe was a perfect fit because it is an environmentally friendly pipe with a NSF approval for use on food grade applications



Within most native Southerners grows an appreciation of the past, a sense of community and an aptitude for storytelling. In March 2010, brothers Coby and Hunter Lake founded their brewery, Avondale Brewing Co., in Birmingham, AL, on these very same principles. To that end, the brothers chose for their 10,000-sq-ft brewery an establishment built in 1895 mostly because of its history. Previously a fire station, pharmacy, bank and saloon, the brothers dubbed Avondale a “small brewery with a big story,” according to Coby Lake.

“With everything that we do here at Avondale, we try to celebrate some part of the history of the building or history of the area,” he said.

The brothers even have brought to life the caricature of Miss Fancy the Elephant, whose image graces the brewery’s logo and spirit permeates its foundation. Depending on who is telling the story, Miss Fancy became a resident of Avondale Park—the original site of the Birmingham Zoo—in 1913 when a downtrodden circus owner lost her to a local newspaper publisher in a hand of poker.

In any case, Miss Fancy reportedly was known to be a bit of a drinker. Whenever she was under the weather, her trainer John Todd served her a dose of “elephant medicine,” a mixture of water and—again, depending on who is weaving the tale—either whiskey or bootleg beer provided by city officials who were confiscating alcoholic beverages during a statewide prohibition.

“Miss Fancy is the most historically significant figure in the history of Avondale,” Coby Lake said. “We’ve got to embrace the beer-drinking elephant. She’s one of us.”

The brothers further show their love for the four-legged beast by naming brews, such as the Pachyderm Pale Wheat and the Vanillaphant Porter Ale, after her as well as hosting charity events, like the TrunkStock Festival, in her name.

Clearly, the days of yesteryear mean a great deal to the brewery founders, and that love of integrating the past led Hunter Lake, also a licensed contractor who oversaw the brewery buildout, to completely restore the historic building. Add to that constructing a commercial craft-brewing system while ensuring there would be room to grow, and the brothers had a very large project on their hands.