We’re in the home stretch of opening the brewery now. There’s still a lot to get done – but really only one large thing, and that’s construction. And this is actually the hardest part, because we’re so close, and we’re anxious, and because it won’t go any faster than it can go.
We’ve received our demo permits, and thus begins the fun of destroying the thing we will one day come to love. The floors and many of the walls have come down, and the exterior work is going to start shortly. We are still waiting on final construction permits, and there has been a long list of questions we’ve answered in order to get them, with us hoping that each question is the last.
When you order a beer on draft, there has to be handle connected to the line right? We spent many hours on this and have a pretty nice (and very relevant… hint hint) design worked out. The handles are in production as we speak. We’ll be sure to share what they look like before we open so you know what to look for on our opening day.
We’ve only been working on this for like, three years now. I’m fairly convinced that the hardest thing about opening a brewery is naming the beers. I’ve spent more time trying to name the beers than I did thinking of names for my children. (Is that wrong?) Yep - in case you're wondering - the search did include this. And no, we are not naming a beer "The Gnu Formally Known as Madonna's Phat Dubbel." All of that said, we’ve pretty much worked out what the opening day beers and beer names are. Again, this will remain a secret up until the time we open. Hey, speaking of beer…
This is the crazy thing – we’re pretty much done with brewing until we move into our brewery. The final homebrewed batch was last week, when we brewed a high gravity experimental beer that we plan on offering on opening day only (followers of our newsletter might know what we’re talking about). There are several reasons why we’ve pretty much put the kibosh on homebrewing. First, we’ve completed all the recipes we plan on making when we open. We’re very happy with how everything has turned out – furthermore, it would be pointless to tweak them any more since the flavor will likely change (hopefully not too much!) when we start brewing on our (much, much) larger system. Second… well, we’ve actually brewed so much in the last few months that we literally have no more space for finished beer in our homes. And third, I think we agree that we’re just ready to move on. We hope to be brewing at the brewery soon.
Brewery odds and ends
Even though our brewhouse and fermenters are constructed and ready to be installed, that doesn’t mean there’s not a ton of other ancillary systems we need to keep us making good beer. We’ve been hard at work scoping our yeast harvest and reuse system, our CO2 supply, working out how to keep hops fresh for as long as possible, and finalizing our lab layout. Didn’t know we’ll have a lab? We’ve got a pretty nice total quality system planned, and examining and measuring yeast is central to our plan.
Where did you think all this beer is going into? Besides your mouths, of course. We’ve got our fleet on order and they’ll be delivered shortly.
Yep – we’re hiring
We posted a description for a Tap Room General Manager at our website, as we’ll need some help running this area once it gets going. We received an overwhelming response from many qualified applicants, and we’re currently going through these applications and getting ready to talk to a few.
Finally - Events
February was a really busy month. We appeared at four different events in five weeks, including the Buffalo Winter Brewfest at the Armory, Buffalo on Tap at the Convention Center, the Art of Beer in Niagara Falls, with the last event at Beerology at the Science Museum in the first week of March. With this many festivals, is there any doubt Buffalo is a real beer town? As always, we had a great time talking to everyone who’s interested in when and where our brewery will open. We think we’re done with these types of events until we actually have beer to sell. Imagine that – actually serving beer at a beer festival! We’re still dreaming of this moment…