Pearl Street Grill & Brewery

Gas Booster Water Heater Produces Sparkling-Clean Glassware for Optimal Flavor at Buffalo Restaurant/Brewery

Natural gas-fired booster hot water heater.

Sparkling-clean dishes and glassware.

Increased energy efficiency.

Buffalo, New York.

The ideal glass of beer is served with a 3/4-inch head of foam to bring out its full flavor. And Pearl Street Grill & Brewery, the only restaurant in Buffalo, New York, brewing its own beer, takes the appearance and taste of its products seriously.

So determined is Grill General Manager Bill Casale to provide the ultimate experience for beer connoisseurs, that he installed a Hatco Model PMG-100 natural gas-fired booster hot water heater to ensure that every glass is free from cleaning products that might otherwise impair the taste and head of their brews.

“We were looking for a more efficient way to clean our glasses by getting film off the glasses with high-temperature water rather than sanitizer products,” says Casale. “A lot of products leave a film on glasses that reduces the amount of head or foam on beer.”

“We were looking for a more efficient way to clean our glasses by getting film off the glasses with high-temperature water rather than sanitizer products,”

says Grill General Manager Bill Casale.

Gas booster heater makes rinse water 50°F hotter

The 105,000-BTU booster device he installed raises the heat of cleaning water by an average 50°F, producing up to 93 gallons of 180°F final rinse water per hour. This water is used in the Pearl Street Grill’s dishwashing machine, which requires .49 gallons of water per rack of dishes and glassware, and processes up to 244 racks of dishes per hour.

Casale is pleased with the results. “It definitely works out a lot better,” he says. “We have found it to be about 10 to 15 percent more efficient” than relying on electricity alone to heat the dishwashing water. With the natural gasfired booster heater able to raise dishwashing water to 180°F, Casale is able to lower the temperature of the restaurant’s electric water heater from its previous level of 140°F, yielding energy savings.

Saving money,

eliminating chemicals

“They were looking to save money and also improve their products,” says Jon Gallinger, P.E., Technical Energy Consultant for National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp., the regional utility that helped fund the booster heater as a demonstration project. “Ideally, the beer needs to form a head, and glasses that are not clean enough won’t form a proper head. A clean glass is also important for wine tasting. The high-temperature rinse produces extremely clean glassware. Pearl Street previously used a chemical rinse. But the booster water heater unit allows them to do away with chemicals, saving money and helping the environment at the same time.”

Chlorine in the dish sanitizing process has a detrimental effect on the ability of beer to form a perfect head, according to Jeff Schmidt, Chemical Program Director for C.A. Curtze, a distributor of Hatco booster water heaters.

“By going with the high temperature (of the booster heater), they eliminated chemicals,” Schmidt says. In addition to saving on dishwashing products, using a natural gas-fired booster water heater also yields savings on equipment maintenance, he adds.

“Chlorine is a corrosive,” says Schmidt. “It begins to deteriorate everything it comes into contact with. By going with the high-temperature cleaning with the booster heater, you’re eliminating repair costs that would normally occur with chlorine corrosion.”

Plans to install additional gas equipment

The restaurant plans to install two additional booster heaters as it expands, according to Casale. It is also installing four Roberts Gordon Vantage II natural gas-fired infrared patio heaters to extend its outdoor dining season.

“We have a large outdoor patio, but in Buffalo, the weather gets quite chilly really quickly in the fall,” Casale explains. “We’re trying to supplement a little more time out there with the heaters.”

Located in a restored factory building downtown, the Pearl Street Grill & Brewery draws crowds from the nearby HSBC Arena. It features banquet facilities, a full-service restaurant, game room, cellar bar, and Brew House.