The final shipment of the brewhouse arrived Feb 3, 2015. It was a great day and an even greater feeling to have all the necessary equipment on site to brew beer. Here are some of the photos that friends took throughout the day.
You know how a kid reacts when s/he gets a new set of Legos? Parts and pieces are scattered everywhere as they create their masterpiece? That’s pretty much what the brewery looked like for two days. It was amazing.
Some things were easier to move into place than others. Take the four following photos as a word of caution. Always double-check measurements. Eric and Graydon have pulled off some major feats of engineering over the last several months. Usually the problem-solving is pretty creative. This time, they just had to remove the doors and cut out the door jams.
Jimmy “The Boiler Guy” and his brother Steve were here this week to get the boiler running. They piped in the steam and propane pipes and we’re almost ready to light it up. If you ever need a boiler guy, we highly recommend these two. There is a state application and inspection process that we’ll have to go through for the boiler (Who knew!?) before we can run it. Soon the American Beer Equipment (ABE) Crew will come down to do final checks and tests. Once we have the green light from them, we’ll be ready to start brewing.
Looking at the calendar, we realized that we have been renovating this granary and working on the brewery build-out for one year. Those who remember the building as a granary or a theater can appreciate all of the work that’s happened behind the scenes. A stage, a ticket booth, and several walls were removed. The entire concrete slab (11 inches) was removed and re-poured with a slope to a central drain. Plumbing and electrical were updated. Insulation and air conditioning reworked, safety features placed. A chiller, two propane tanks, and a water filtration system were brought in. It has been a full, exciting, educational year….and we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. But if anyone knows how to squeeze an eighth day out of a week, please give us a call.
In addition to the renovations and brewing plans, we have also been tackling the legal side, fees, permits, licenses, taxes, and everything that goes along with running a beer business. The amount of rules and paperwork can seem overwhelming. The Texas Craft Brewers Guild has been one of the best resources for us as a brewery-in-planning. We have been able to ask questions and get others’ insight and recommendations on best practices. We’ve also visited some of them in person after chatting online. It is a great network of professionals. If you’re going to open a brewery in Texas, we definitely recommend joining the TCBG.