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Michigan Brewery Goes Blue to Be Green with Aquatherm Blue Pipe

Founders Brewing Co., Heating Distribution
Products Used
Blue Pipe®
Location / Date
Grand Rapids, MI
Fall 2013

Aquatherm Advantages

  • Aquatherm has a natural R-Value of 1 or more depending on SDR, which allows the system to be more efficient than metal
  • The reliability of the heat fusion process used to connect Aquatherm eased concerns about leakage
  • Aquatherm Blue Pipe® can be easily washed and maintained.
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The Challenge

Ownership sought an alternative to metal for their new heat reclaim system, which takes heat from the fermentation process to heat the building

The Solution

Aquatherm Blue Pipe® was selected for a multitude of reasons, including its energy efficiency (flow rate and inherent insulation) and its ability to handle high temperatures with minimal expansion and contractions

foundersbrewery2To say that Michiganders take beer brewing seriously is an understatement. The state of Michigan has over 185 craft breweries and even has their own song entitled, “The Michigan State Beer Fight Song.”

Many cities in the state offer their own version of pub-crawls and craft brewery tours to give tourists a taste of what this great state has to offer. One city in particular, is so densely packed with microbreweries; it was named Beer City USA for two years in a row by an annual Beer City USA poll. Beer City USA, otherwise know as Grand Rapids, is home to Founders Brewery. 

Founded in 1997, Founders Brewery has evolved into one of the most recognized breweries in the U.S. The brewery started out as a package brewery and has grown significantly in the past few years. Currently Founders is in restaurants, bars, and stores in 32 states and 13 export markets of distribution. According to Chief Production Officer Brad Stevenson, Founders has averaged over 70% annual growth in the past six years. 

With around 300 members of the Founders team, the brewery is making accommodations for the higher demand of its product. “With our growth, we’ve had to buy a lot of new gear,” Stevenson explained. “Most of the new gear has helped us focus on making more product and adding capacity. We’ve now hit a volume that’s allowed us to look at process improvements and other things we’re interested in, like energy conservation.”