Time for a well-deserved progress update and news on our opening day.

We've been working really hard on brewery construction and installation of equipment over the last month.  It has been all about utilities for the brewery.  We've had our boiler and chiller installed and piped.  The piping requirements were massive; it took 6 weeks to complete the job.  We've started up both units and they are now functional.  The electrical requirements were even greater.  Our electric service upgrades were completed and our brewery equipment is now tied in to the main City grid. 

Utilities: steam boiler, water treatment

We had planned to brew in July but we’re now targeting early August - that is, any day now.  We've had a few issues during the installation, which is typical on a project of this magnitude.  Rest assured, we’re working super hard at getting the brewery online, and we’re putting in the time to get our brewery in the best possible shape so it performs the way we want it to.

Another variable in opening: until we brew the first few batches, and we measure them, and taste them, and confirm they’re meeting our high expectations of the kind of quality we expect, we won’t announce an opening date.   Making great beer is the most important thing for us.  We know better than to try to rush quality, and we’re pretty sure you agree and wouldn't want it any other way.

That being said, we have a high degree of confidence in our plan and process, and we feel pretty good about the beers we’re about to make.  We recently made “pilot” batches of the beers we intend to launch with and brought them around town to the owners of the bars and restaurants where we intend to serve them.  The folks that tasted them had no need to mince words or hold back criticism, but nevertheless we received overwhelmingly positive reviews, and I think you’ll have no problem finding our beer at your favorite bar, whether you’re in the City or on the outskirts.  

On opening day, don’t necessarily expect to come to the brewery and down a pint however.  We’re still working out details on the retail hours we want to hold at the brewery between opening day and the day the tap room opens.  The good news is, we’ve begun construction on the tap room, which we expect to open in the fall.  The corner front façade of the building at Huron and Ellicott was torn down in order to install a ton of windows, several of which will be retractable during beautiful Buffalo summers.  We’ve hired the general manager for the tap room and we’ve pretty much finalized the simple yet delicious menu that we’re creating from scratch that will complement the beers we’re making and will include them in the recipes, as well.  

Future taproom. Crazy right?

The best boss I ever had once told me that “nothing is ever easy”, and he was right about that.  I feel like we’ve been climbing a mountain for three and half years, and we’re near the top, and the last bit of climb ahead is the steepest.  It’s all leading to tasting that first beer, and it’s really close now.  We’re almost there.

In part 2 of this update (coming soon): some reflections on how we got here.