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FOR THE LOVE OF BEER

Project

Smith & Lentz Brewing Company, Chilled Water

Products Used
Blue Pipe® 
Location / Date
Nashville, TN
Fall 2015

Aquatherm Advantages

  • Using Aquatherm instead of copper saved about $12,000 on upfront costs
  • Aquatherm’s R-1 value per inch ensured the piping wouldn’t crack or break when used for the glycol system
  • Aquatherm with its heat-fusion technique, was easy even for the owners to install
 smithlenz

The Challenge

A startup brewery needed to save as much money as possible and find a piping system that wouldn’t crack under extremely cold temperatures

 

The Solution

Aquatherm’s corrosion-resistant qualities and 10-year warranty give university leadership peace of mind


smithlents2

POLYPROPYLENE-RANDOM PIPING SYSTEMS MINIMIZE UPFRONT COSTS AND CURTAIL CORROSION AND SCALE

Nashville: Music City USA. Besides being the birthplace of country music, Nashville, TN, is known for great restaurants, an art scene and a vibrant night life. It’s no surprise Adler Lentz and Kurt Smith, business partners and owners of Smith & Lentz Brewing Company, decided to open their brewery in the vibrant and dynamic city. The brewery includes a taproom featuring 22 beers that is open to the public. Additionally, Smith & Lentz has five distribution accounts in the Nashville area.

Smith’s love of craft beer developed early: While Smith was attending the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, from 2005-2009, he noticed that the area’s brewers were not only creating interesting and unique beers, they also were building and sustaining a sense of community around its brewery culture. He also had the opportunity to travel abroad during college, and thanks to a semester in Prague, he further developed his love for and interest in craft beers, which translated into a serious hobby. After college he moved to Austin, TX, and while living there he brewed beer at home, learning the ins and outs of various brewing methods. Also in Austin, he worked as an environmental and risk consultant and found time to volunteer at local breweries.

Meanwhile, Lentz was working as an apprentice at a small brewpub in Milwaukee, WI, learning the basics of commercial brewing. After his apprenticeship, he moved to San Diego, CA, and became a brewing-equipment installer. For four years, Lentz built systems for a variety of breweries—from startup breweries to larger commercial ventures. One of the brewery systems Lentz installed happened to be in Austin.

“When I installed the Hops & Grain Craft Brewery system, I was offered a job as the head brewer, so I moved to Austin for the opportunity,” Lentz said. “Kurt Smith was friends with the owner of Hops & Grain, and that is where we met. The strange thing is we both realized we grew up in Wisconsin only 15 miles from each other.”

When Smith and Lentz met, it was clear that Lentz’s extensive craft-brewing experience complemented Smith’s business acumen.

The two craft-beer aficionados started talking about building a brewery, taking only four months to create a solid business plan.

While working on the business plan, they considered where they wanted to locate the brewery, and Nashville was the city of choice. According to Lentz, Nashville has the perfect demographics for a brewery, and quality of life there is excellent.

“We were both looking for a change from Austin, and we were looking into a variety of different cities on the West Coast, such as Portland, Seattle, and San Diego,” Lentz said. “My girlfriend is from Tennessee, so she suggested Nashville. We started looking at the demographics of the area, and they are identical to Austin and Portland, but a lot less breweries are located there, so we saw a great opportunity. We figured this was a great time to move there and open a brewery.”

Once their business plan was completed, they moved from Austin to Nashville to start work on the brewery. They hit a temporary snag when a fire broke out in the brewery building, but it didn’t sidetrack them for too long: The entire project—from creating a business plan to opening the brewery to the public—took three years. Designing a glycol-cooling piping system for the brewing process, including research, product certification, and installation, took only two months; the brewery then opened in the fall of 2015.