Forward and onward … is that even a saying?!?!?! This update is probably part 1 in a series of ‘n’ and will share more of what’s been going on around here with pictures of the work we’ve done on our nano-brewery build-out. A few important things:
- We sold our old home and bought a new one across town this past June. The new house was built in 1940 with a detached garage, a must-have since you cannot licence a brewery attached to your dwelling
- We are looking to officially open March/April (hopefully … come on TTB!) out of our garage.
- No on-site consumption, but we will do growler fills and keg distribution, as well as off-site events
- The reason we are opting for no on-site consumption is so:
- Minors can still be on premise, accompanied by an adult (specifically our kids since they love to help brew)
- To mitigate additional risk from being on our personal property
- From our research, it appears there is more information on what it is like to own and operate a brewery, rather than what is truly involved leading up to getting licensed and opening the doors. I guess I’ll just have to write a book, too…
- In networking I have found that brewers are some of the coolest, most welcoming individuals in a competitive market who are not competitive at all, but rather very friendly and helpful
The build-out started by identifying specifics within the garage that would be needed for turning a garage into a brewery, and then creating the plans (see a simple sketch of them below). Primarily, these plans included:
- A cold room for brite tanks and keg storage, from which tap lines will come out of for growler fills
- A fermentation chamber for x2 1/2 bbl fermenters, x2 1 bbl fermenters and room for more to grow
- Storage area
- Brewing space
- Common area for people to come in, taste samples, fill a growler (or 2), and just check things out
Previous owners had at some point added a shop to the back of the garage, opening a part of the original back wall allowing the shop to flow partially into the garage, separated by another added enclosure. The layout was not optimal so I decided to wall-up the opening and remove the enclosure walls in the garage. Glad I did because while I was demolishing it, I found old, untreated water damage, mouse nests with dropping and filberts, 1×4’s instead of 2×4′, the supports were off, and they had used way too many shims and jerry-rigs! It’s no wonder that an entire overhead shelving storage unit came down on the top of my head, nearly knocking me out during the process!
So while removing the enclosed shop wall to restore the garage to its original look, I found some really cool old wood that I will re-purpose on the front of the cold room wall, and hopefully paint a large mural of our logo on it. I want to avoid changing the look of the wood, and just seal it.
Once I got the enclosure wall tear-down completed, it was time to start framing out the new cold room and fermentation chamber walls. I walled off the back shop from the garage for a storage area in the brewery by putting in new framing, and a large header beam to create an open transition between brewery and storage. Next up was the cold room. I framed and installed an entrance from the storage area into the cold room, and added a solid, exterior door, re-purposed from our local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The thing is a BEAST, and feels like it weighs 100 lbs! But it will help keep the room insulated, and maintain the right cooling temperatures for keg storage. I then framed and built a new wall, separating the rest of the brewery from the cold room space.
After that it was time to frame out the fermentation chamber. I framed another space in the brewery, up against the cold room wall, with room for a door as well as an air conditioning unit to maintain temperatures. I wanted a nice, big opening for the fermentation room, so I bought a set of exterior double french doors (also from the ReStore. The cost? only $150.00 for all the doors!)
With the framing done, next came the insulation and drywall. YES, I am skipping through this fast, and yes there was a lot in between, but I am trying to keep it somewhat short. Drywall is not my favorite part of construction. Well, I guess the drywall cutting and hanging itself is not so bad. Aside from the white boogers, burning red eyes, sinus infection and hacking cough if you do not wear a mask and goggles (sorry to my wife who told me to wear both). It’s really the mudding, taping, and sanding that I don’t care for much. But is necessary to get a smooth wall. I guess that’s why I am putting that part off until this weekend 🙂
Insulation is not a favorite of mine either. Rolled fiberglass, if not handled right, can get on you, in your clothes, and sticks, itches and just irritates the heck out of you!
So this is where it will be until this weekend, when I will begin the mudding/taping….
I also still have the rigid foam insulation to put up on the walls inside the cold room to keep the temperatures cold. And I need to install the AC units in the fermentation chamber and cold room as well. Then of course there’s the tap lines, and all the finish work to go. So, again, this is been part 1 of ‘n.’ Thanks for joining us on this crazy adventure! And more to come….
Oh yeah, and don’t forget, we also have these for sale (plug). We can ship or deliver them, if you’re in the area. Cheers!