Give or take a few days, we are about 90 days from opening our brewery, and the list of stuff we need to do and decide on seems to have only gotten longer and bigger. When you are about 90 days out, the major decisions have been made, but there is still a lot of decisions to be made that can change the outcome of this process. Let me recap where we are in the process so you can see what needs to be done.
We have finished all the in-ground mechanical work. So plumbing, running conduit, reinforcing of concrete for tanks, upgrading floors, pouring curbs, trade waste interceptor, flow meter, drains, and a bunch of other stuff has all been decided. That means we have made decisions galore to get to this point. Having someone on board like Iain Hill, who has experience in starting a brewery is huge. He has been down this road before, and knows what is a need to have and a nice to have.
We are currently getting all of our walls built for the brewery interior, and while there is little work for the partners to do, there a lot of office work for us to complete. The work of our carpenters is really important, albeit very slow. Building walls and making sure they are square, level and plumb is tedious work at best, and requires a crew to make sure it all goes well. While construction is at this point, there is a lit of other things we need to accomplish.
Most of the items revolve around the front of house. We need to take the bar from conceptual to design. That means we need to know what we are putting in the bar, the dimensions of those items, where we want shelves, drawers and other items, where does the sink go, where the POS goes, how many POS, etc. All of this information then gets meshed with the best practices of our architect and then created into a set of drawings for us to send out to tender. Once we choose who makes them, they then need to be manufactured, delivered and installed. The whole process seems to take about 12 weeks, so timing is of the essence.
While all of this is happening, our mechanical contractor is running pipes overhead, to and from all the important locations in the brewery, and our electrical contractor is upgrading our power and making things happen from an electrical point of view.
Now is also the time to start deciding on exterior colours and upgrades as we are nearing the time when this will need to be completed. We have been working towards getting our sign ordered and it has been a bit of a mess in knowing who to use and what to get. Our exterior sign is old and is going to cost a bunch of money to repair. So do we pick something that is going to hold for a couple years, until we have cash to really replace it, or do we make the big upgrade now? We are leaning towards saving the money as we have made a mess of our budget. Saving money when we can seems really important.
All of our major equipment has been ordered, and we are just looking for odds and ends to round out the brewing side. Iain is busy working on the draft system/growler fill area, and what we are going to do and how all that is going to come together. I can’t say I know much, but what I know seems to confuse me. Looks like we can go with a few different options, and each has pro’s and con’s, which I can fully describe at this time, as I haven’t been working in that bucket.
The schedule which I spoke about in my last post, gets changed almost daily, and drop dead dates are really important to adhere to. So is having regular meetings to stay on top of all the decisions that each partner is making. For instance, I have the exterior sign, website construction, marketing buckets to figure things out in, and Iain has the bar and equipment buckets to work in, and before you know it, you can make decisions in your own mind without talking to the other person. So you seem to spend hours writing emails and following up on things with your partner, just so they know what they heck is going on. A bit tedious, but sooooo important.
From here, we have lots more to do, and while we are very close, it feels in a way like we are so far away. Its hard to think that in the next 90 days, all that is our space and mess of things, will get cobbled together into a usable brewery and tasting room. Sometimes it still doesn’t feel like it will happen.