Why did we install a catwalk? Feature Image

We know what you’re thinking: because we’re too sexy for our shirts!

Good guess, and really close. But truth be told, it had to do more with our beer.

Although glorified in the “Right Said Fred” song, a catwalk is actually a common piece of infrastructure in breweries that have tall fermentation vessels. It provides safe and quick access to the tops of those vessels, and is used for various purposes including: dry-hopping beers, cleaning the tops of tanks, and maintaining cellar equipment.

At Big Sky Brewing, we have tried all kinds of things like mechanical lifts and trapeze artists to access the tops of our cellar tanks.  But as the demand for our beers has grown, so has the need for easier access to the tank farm.  We currently have twenty-one 200 barrel (6200 gallon) fermentation vessels, each over 20 feet tall.  And since the trapeze artist (there was only one, his name was Rafael) went on strike, we built the catwalk between two rows of these tanks providing easy access to 14 of the fermentation vessels. All those tanks were also retrofitted with 8” ports, vastly increasing our dry-hopping capabilities.

Basically, we needed better dry-hop access for both production and experimental beers.

Although some of us may be too sexy for our shirts,  we’ll share those details in a later post.  Or not.