Big Ass Fans Helps Desert Distillery | Big Ass Fans
Elgin, AZ

Case Study: Big Ass Fans Helps Desert Distillery

We have tours, and when visitors see the fans, they’re in awe. And when they’re in awe of the fan, they’re in awe of us. The fans elevate our brand, truly, and distinguish us from our peers. Mark Beres, President

The Gist


With a variety of cooling and ventilation needs, Arizona-based Flying Leap Vineyards needed a company that could provide a multitude of solutions for its new distillery


Across the facility, Flying Leap used Powerfoil X, Haiku and Element fans to cool people, remove alcohol vapors and distribute humidified air.


The vertical climate profile of Flying Leap’s barrel room is now ideal, and dangerous alcohol vapors are being safely removed.

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When award-winning winemaker Flying Leap Vineyards decided to open a distillery, they knew their Arizona location would present challenges: The dry environment would accelerate evaporation of barrel-aging spirits, leading to unacceptable amounts of product loss. With Big Ass Fans, Flying Leap was able to mitigate a number of issues — moisture control, vapor removal, customer comfort, — with a variety of tailor-made solutions and clever applications of Big Ass products.

New Spaces, New Problems

Flying Leap Vineyards began as a winery located in Elgin, Arizona, an hour’s drive southeast of Tucson. Known as Arizona’s wine country, the composition of the soil and the dry climate at Flying Leap closely mimics the conditions found in Burgundy, a region of France known for its winemaking. This dryness became problematic, however, when Flying Leap began its expansion into distilling brandy and whiskey. In the newly constructed barrel room, spirits age up to 12 years in oak barrels. But the desert air caused atypically large amounts of the liquid to evaporate, effectively sending Flying Leap’s potential profits into the atmosphere. In the distillery itself, alcohol vapors necessitated better airflow to avoid a dangerous buildup of potentially explosive fumes. Lastly, Flying Leap’s new event center needed a way to keep guests cool while delivering the visual impact the winery desired.

The Barrel Room

To avoid the costly evaporation of its aging whiskey and brandy, Flying Leap installed a humidification system. However, the room’s 37- ft (11-m) ceilings complicated the humidification process. “Even with a humidifier, we experienced differing levels of relative humidity from top to bottom, leading to greater evaporation in certain areas,” said Mark Beres, president of Flying Leap Vineyards. After contacting Big Ass Fans, Flying Leap installed a 20-ft (6-m) Powerfoil®X3.0 to smoothly blend the air in the barrel room, doing the work of several smaller fans. The fan keeps the environment and evaporation rate consistent for every barrel, ensuring an equally consistent and high-quality product.

The Distillery

When distilling whiskey and brandy, alcohol vapors are a natural byproduct of the energy-intensive fermentation process. Removing these vapors is part-and-parcel of owning a distillery. To help clear the air, Flying Leap installed a 16-ft (5-m) Element ceiling fan. The fan prevents the dangerous fumes from building up by circulating the air towards the room’s windows and HVAC intakes.

The Event Center

While building the 10,000-sq-ft distillery and barrel-room facility, Flying Leap also constructed a new event center on the grounds of its estate vineyard. Haiku fans were the only ceiling fans that Beres felt fit with the tasteful, contemporary space. “They’re beautiful,” said Beres. “They add to the value of the property considerably.” In addition to their aesthetic appeal, Haiku fans produce a powerful, 10°F (5.6°C) cooling effect that keep Flying Leap’s guests cool even during the most well-attended events.

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