A term that has been on my mind a lot lately.
Ironically, also the name of the beer I’m sipping on while writing this post.
I’ve sat down to write an update on the brewery several times in the last few weeks, and the only excuse I have for not doing it is one of uncertainty.
I’m not one to talk bad about people, and I’ve always tried to heed the advice of ‘if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all’.
I believe that may be why I’ve kept quiet on the updates on the brewery recently. You see, I’m stuck in a quagmire of regulations, permitting, and zoning codes that seems to be dragging me under only slightly slower than a finely tuned bed of quicksand.
I’ve spent the last month and a half in discussions with the city about what they believe are requirements for me to move forward with my permit, and I believe are unnecessary and frivolous expenses and ever-complicating demands. We have gone from installing a couple drains, some sinks, and some electrical circuits, to building 2-hour firewalls, installing sprinklers, building bathrooms, and installing heated strainers on the sewer outflow. I have tried to reason, I’ve tried to read building codes, and I’ve tried to ask for explanations for all of it.
I want to believe that the people I’m communicating with truly believe they are doing the right thing, but I’m just not convinced. Demands pile on top of demands, and every solution I propose is shot down swiftly and more requirements are piled on top. I am up to 4 distinct sets of requirements from the city, each with an increasing number of renovation requirements.
I know that we’ll work through it eventually, but it’s a long, painful, and expensive process. It’s made me lose some faith that I had in the motivation of the city to help small businesses get up and running. I still believe there are good people at the city who want to move things like this forward, but unfortunately the folks who believe in taking the path of most resistance are the ones who are the loudest. I know they believe they are covering themselves against liability, but it’s gotten out of hand.
But time marches on. And if it was easy, everyone would do it.
In fact, it’s become a long enough process that I will most likely have my tanks for the brewhouse in my possession before I cut the first bit of concrete (which was initially going to happen at the beginning of april). I got the call yesterday that my 3 brewery tanks (hot liquor, mash tun, and boil kettle) are in portland, and are getting loaded on a truck to head this way. The fermenters are in either the first or second week of june, and the rest of the equipment and control system is on it’s way as well.
Shiny new stainless. I’m gonna need a big tarp to cover it up while they cut concrete.
So, for those of you who have been wondering. That’s where I’m at. The fundraising has begun again, as I feel like even if I make it out with only half of the things they are requesting, I’m still doubling my construction budget. So goes the way of the startup.
If anything, this has cemented my dedication to opening the brewery; although there were times when the thought of throwing up my arms in frustration, posting an ad for brewery equipment for sale, and pulling out crossed my mind. I am making this thing happen, and it will be successful. Beer will be brewed, and it will be mind-numbingly delicious beer. All of you will be witness to this and we’ll all look back on this frustration, shake our heads at the insanity, and then set the sights firmly on the future. A future of shiny stainless, beautifully designed packaging, and (most importantly) ridiculously delicious beer. The timeline may be set back a bit, but it will move forward. And in the meantime, I’ve got a big empty warehouse which will soon have a grill outside.
On a much lighter note, if you want to come by the brewery space and check it out, Sunday is your day. I’ve decided that we need an excuse to do some quality control on the test batches, fire up the grill, and hang out a bit at the space. I’m not using it for brewing yet, so lets use it for something. In addition to the festivities, we’re gonna make a solid attempt at putting together the walk-in cooler that I’ve got sitting in pieces right now. It’s full-on Ikea-style, so it only requires a couple tools and a few people who don’t mind moving big insulated panels around in exchange for beer and grilled meat.
So, if you’re around on sunday, come by the brewery space at 1519 N. Main Street, Suite 102 around 11am. Bring a set of closed toe shoes, a camping chair, and a side dish to go with the grilled meat. I’ll have some tools, a general set of instructions (how hard can it be?), hot dogs, hamburgers, a light summer pale ale, a porter, and all the necessary eating and drinking accessories.
Maybe we need to construct a cornhole set as well…. That would be a good sunday project, and I’m willing to bet we can put it to good use right away.
Anyone want to sew some bags for it?
I feel like we’re going to bust out the fridge construction in short order, so we’ll just have to make sure the cornhole set works.
If you don’t happen to make it by, we’ll catch you next time around. However, you should definitely check out what else is happening around here (or wherever you are) for American Craft Beer Week.
And if that isn’t your cup of tea, and you’re up in the Flagstaff area this weekend, the other event which is totally worth checking out is the Overland Expo which starts friday down by mormon lake. I’ll be out there on saturday checking out all the crazy machines that some like-minded folks are rocking. Good stuff for sure.
That’s all I got for tonight. If you’re on facebook, you can check out the event page for sunday with more details, or just shoot me an email and I’ll hook you up with some info.
My beer is officially drained (and it was a good one), so I’m outta here.