Bubbly beer blasts Vernon, B.C., brewery
Darcy Wintonyk, ctvbc.ca
Published Friday, July 23, 2010 12:39PM PDT
Last Updated Friday, May 18, 2012 11:16PM PDT
A small crack in a fermentation vat at the Okanagan Springs Brewery in Vernon, B.C., may be to blame for a creamy beer bomb that blew more than 32-thousand litres of fermented foam across a downtown street.
A huge pressurized metal silo was blown apart during the Thursday afternoon accident at its North Okanagan plant.
"We had a breach in one of our fermentation tanks," said Bryce Zurowski, the Vice President of the company's Western Canada operations.
"As you can imagine it would cause a lot of mess."
The explosion was powerful enough to tear an aluminum door off its hinges, forcing thousands of litres of foam to careen through the plant's parking lot and into the road.
It also caused structural damage to an outside wall. No one was injured.
The brewery's operations manager shut down most of the brewery until the mess could be contained. The Vernon Fire Department aided with the cleanup, shutting down the roadway adjacent to the facility.
Thankfully, a well-timed rainstorm flushed most of the beer into the sewers.
There is speculation a build-up of carbon dioxide could be at fault for the accident.
"But at this point we're unsure. Nothing like this has happened here before," said Zurowski.
Worksafe BC is investigating.
Okanagan Springs is B.C.'s largest craft brewery and the third biggest brewer in the country.