Early breweries were designed with equipment on higher floors in order to utilize the aid of gravity to in transferring the product between brewing stages. Though this building layout is still somewhat common, mechanical pumps are now the norm.
Early breweries also used large copper vats and lined wooden containers were used during the fermentation process. Since the Industrial Revolution, stainless steel has been typically used for brewery equipment since it is less expensive and doesn’t corrode.
Alaskan Brewing is credited with installing the first carbon dioxide reclamation system in a United States brewery. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a natural byproduct of the brewing process. Since 1998, Alaskan has been capturing the gas and using it in beer packaging. This development is said to decrease the environmental impact and financial cost of their beer production.