Project: Martin Group - Bakes Brewing in Belmar, NJ
Martin Group Construction Services in New Jersey contacted Alpine to restore an old warehouse and convert it into a craft brewery. After a walkthrough of the facility, the Alpine team immediately began working with the general contractor, the property manager representing the general contractor, and the building owner to lay out the plan and expectations that would realize the vision for what Bakes Brewing was to become.
While there were drawings and blueprints, this was a design-build which meant they had a preliminary idea of what they wanted and evolved as the project moved along. The owner’s dream was to make and sell craft beers after many years of doing so as a hobby while serving as an accountant in his daytime profession. He took a leap of faith when he bought an old building to turn it into a brewery for craft beer.
The Challenges in the Transformation
The project took about two years to complete. The warehouse interior (previously used to manufacture electronic parts) was gutted and brought back to life by retouching and redoing each surface: walls, floors, and ceiling. Everything got restored inside and outside the facility. The construction teams upgraded the utilities; added custom brewery equipment brought in via crane; landscaped the entire exterior and added new pavement; and put in a new structure as an overhang for aesthetic reasons and to allow customers to enjoy the outside area.
Alpine joined the project early to work on the project piece by piece with the general contractor and property owner. Work started with the interior over months. The crew put the prime coat on, especially in areas where they would lose access as equipment was brought in. Alpine returned to the site to apply a second coat after other trades completed their work. Toward the end of the project, Alpine completed damage repairs created by some of the trades.
The transformation of a run-down facility neglected for many years into a state-of-the-art brewery made this a remarkable assignment. The brewery owner had a marketing team work alongside him and Alpine to ensure colors and logos remained appealing to the eye. The attention to detail was exceptional.
There were no major environmental challenges, however, the project was completed over a long period of time so weather dictated where the contractors focused their work, whether on the exterior or interior.
Another challenge was having to work in an active environment which involved Alpine having to assess when was the most efficient time to come back to the site when requested. Alpine needed to evaluate the facility and determine if the site was ready for them to return and complete another aspect of the scope, or if the client was better served to have Alpine return when something else was completed first. Sometimes difficult conversations with the client took place to ensure efficiency from a budgeting and time management perspective.
There was no major pressure to get things completed with a tight deadline so contractors were able to take the time needed to complete the required tasks. Alpine had to marry the old with the new regarding the facility's substrates. As part of an old warehouse, there were many surfaces that were to remain the same and while others would be new. Alpine had to strategize on how to blend the two so that the end result looked seamless and beautiful. That entailed clarifying expectations with the owner so Alpine could hit its objectives.
History Runs Deep
The facility was built in the 1970s. By the time Alpine got to the location, it was already gutted by the general contractor. Many of the interior walls had been removed and the conditions were very bleak. There were lots of dark areas – some with new substrates meeting old substrates. It was Alpine’s responsibility to level out the substrates and perform the surface preparation so that it looked presentable and ready to recoat.
There were multiple substrates. The inside of the building had been prepared by the drywall contractor because a lot of the surfaces were sheetrock or drywall. It was Alpine’s responsibility to dust the walls prior to putting the prime coat on and at times perform minor surface preparations to get it to a level 3 finish on the drywall surfaces.
For the masonry wall surfaces, Alpine’s responsibility was to scrape off loose and flaking paint to a sound surface to get it ready for prime and overcoat. For the exterior, Alpine performed power washing on the masonry surfaces and also minor wire brushing (SP2 – hand tool cleaning via wire washing and scraper) to remove corrosion prior to priming.
P1 –Touch-Up Painting and Damage Repair. This standard defines the repair and repainting of finished painted surfaces that have been damaged by individuals other than those employed by the painting and decorating contractor.
Because there were multiple trades working at the same time, Alpine ensured that if there were any surfaces damaged by another contractor it wasn't put on them to cover the cost of the damage. Alpine developed additional work orders with the general contractor whenever a surface was completed yet more work was performed by another contractor and Alpine was then asked to rework the areas. By being able to reference P1, Alpine received compensation for any double work.
P7 – Job Sequencing. This standard recognizes how job sequencing affects the completion of painting and decorating work activities. This ensured that Alpine got into the work at the right time so they were not working on top of other trades and that the areas were ready for Alpine to complete its work. Alpine could then complete the tasks efficiently and as laid out in the work order.
This was a design-build project that kept evolving as construction unfolded. There were changes to the original scope that constituted additional work orders submitted by Alpine. The client requested more work from Alpine along the way which kept them returning to the assignment several times.
Unexpected new areas needed to be painted; some were built-in carpentry work such as shelving and some areas around the bars. This led to additional work orders that were added to the original scope of work for this assignment.
The client consulted Alpine on colors and their potential locations. Prior to making color and finish selections and where they would be applied, the client asked Alpine for its opinion. Aesthetics was very important to him and in collaboration with the marketing team, Alpine was able to give sound recommendations on complimenting wall colors that could make the business’ signage to pop, as one example.
Cheers to a Brew-tiful Friendship
Alpine had worked with Martin Group in the past. Alpine’s reputation for hitting deadlines and servicing its clients gave Martin Group the confidence to bring Alpine into the assignment.
Alpine made a good impression during the initial walk-thru which further assured the client and general contractor that Alpine would hit its deadlines and get the assignment done to perfection.
Finally, Alpine’s level of detail on the final proposal showed that they had everything covered before they would even start the assignment. For example, the proposal showed that Alpine had set up a pre-job walkthrough with its project manager and crew leader to make sure everyone was on the same page before the start of the project.
The Beer Necessities
Typical tools that are used for commercial work were used for this project: standard surface prep tools; brushes, rollers, and sprayers for painting; and power washers for the exterior surfaces.
Paint brush, roller &/or airless spray.
Sherwin Williams PrepRite ProBlock Stain Blocking Primer/Sealer
Sherwin Williams KemBond, Rust Inhibitive Primer
Sherwin Williams Duraplate 235 Primer, Semi-Gloss Finish
Sherwin Williams High Solids Poly, High-Performance Urethane, Semi-Gloss Finish
Sherwin Williams Loxon Masonry Primer/Sealer
Sherwin Williams DTM, (Direct To Metal), Semi-Gloss Finish
Sherwin Williams SuperPaint, 100% Acrylic Latex, Flat Finish
Sherwin Williams ProMar 200, Flat Finish
The Sherwin-Williams products are go-tos for commercial painting work. They have been tested, provide good value and do what they’re supposed to do. Alpine also painted the entire exterior of the structure. The project wrapped up in the summer of 2022. The expected opening date for the brewery is either December 2022 or January 2023.
For every job, Alpine completes a Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) to identify potential safety hazards:
The active environment around other trades so Alpine needed to be aware of their space and have the hazard communications skills in place.
Exterior: fall protection when using a ladder; the right PPE, such as safety glasses when power washing or respiratory protection when spray painting.
Trip hazards as there was quite a bit of material laying about in their work area.
The JHA was created ahead of time and a kickoff meeting was scheduled to discuss it with the team. There were also routine ‘toolbox talks’ to keep the team aware of any scope changes and impacts from a safety perspective.
Everything Looking Pitcher Perfect
The transformation from an old, grimy warehouse to a beautiful state-of-the-art craft brewing facility made this project unique. The end result yielded a high-end appearance with an open area, a clear view into the kitchen, and of the area where the manufacturing of the beer – the brewing equipment– could be seen. The area is very stimulating from a color perspective. Much thought was put into how the colors would work together and how they catch the light in the various locations of the brewery.
“The renovation of my building from an assembly warehouse into a microbrewery was a massive undertaking which required many disciplines of contractors. I can say with confidence that Alpine Painting was by far the most professional, caring, and personal of the group. Dave and his team truly cared about the finished product and made sure they stood by it and that the end customer was happy with the result. The Alpine team worked well with me and my GC to get to the final product that really made the final renovation finish look amazing!”