If you want to hack together some automation around a linux PC then go nuts..... but to then make a website and video about how awesome it is? Really??
PLC's have a been around for years and many are dirt cheap - $100 CPU's and less than $10 per I/O. You wont hit memory limits in them (not in a brewery anyway) and they will run all day everyday doing one thing only, but doing it really well. The modules are easily replaceable which minimises downtime, and most of them use a standardised language (ladder logic) so that the next guy that comes along can understand it too. Now that is obvious.
If you want to fiddle more than that - and most poeple do - PLC's integrate with PC's just fine via Modbus (serial or ethernet) so that you can read or write data from them. Common packages to integrate with them are supervisory control systems (SCADA) or a data historians. There are plenty of commercial packages out there - Wonderware, Citect, InSQL, PI etc, and even some open source ones - http://openhistorian.codeplex.com/ and http://openscada.org/
Beyond PLC's/SCADA is the world of DCS (Distributed Control Systems), but you'd better have a spare million dollars and tens of thousands of I/O to justify putting one in.
It's great to tell your mates about how Linux is awesome but don't get too carried away.