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Two Questions on Location

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Hello all, I am still in search of a building to lease for my operations. I came across one that is zoned right with the right amount of space, but have a couple concerns.

1) The warehouse is built on a hill, so the street level that I would be renting is actually the second floor of the building.

2) If it is possible, has anybody been in a building like this or have a basement underneath of them? Right now I have two 300 gallon fermenters, but would be looking to double that. So, did you have to hire an architect to see if it would bear the load? Sláinte!

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I have a similar sounding building that I recently leased for my distillery. The distillery and tasting room will occupy the main (street level) floor while the large open basement will be for grain milling and barrel storage. A multi level building presents some challenges and some opportunities in my opinion. On the plus side, we will use gravity to our advantage by putting the boiler in the basement, thus alleviating the need for a condensate return pump. In addition, my slop tanks will also be in the basement so it will be easy to transfer the leftover mash to holding tanks before it is collected by our farmer.

With 2 levels though you will have to tackle the problem of moving heavy and/or bulky items from one floor to another. Since we plan on milling in the basement, we're looking to engineer a flexible auger system to move the ground grains from our milling area to our mashing area. Our building also has a large opening in the main floor and a gantry crane that runs the length of the main floor. In the monument manufacturing days, this door/crane combo was used for moving finished headstones and slabs from the freight delivery door in the basement to the main floor. We plan on using it to move barrels to storage and back from storage to blending/bottling.

I'm fortunate in that my building was originally built as a monument manufacturing facility. The main floor has 6" concrete floors that were designed to bear the weight of hundreds of headstones so it won't have any trouble supporting our 300 gallon capacity distillery. You would probably require a structural engineer to give you feedback on the weight capacity of the floor based on your process equipment placement.

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Thank you very much for your response Huffy. I could definitely see the benefits of two level distillery and having gravity on your side. As for moving items, there is a double door on the street level as well as an elevator from the first to second level. You did get lucky in that it must have been built pretty heavy to lift those large stones. Have you passed inspection yet? Did the inspectors say anything about it being two floors? I will actually only be using the upper level, and the bottom level will have a different tenant. In general, from what I have read, there are distilleries in multi floor buildings as long as the building doesnt have residential?

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