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Delay to Opening ….. Also Marketing, Production and Tasting Room Advice

We are going to be delayed in our opening.  I wish I could sit here and tell you something different, as we are so excited to open and share our journey and beer with you, but not unlike everyone else …. we are delayed.  It will end up being a combination of beer not quite being ready to go, not receiving all our permits, and construction of the tasting room not quite being complete.  I would say we are going to be open sometime before Christmas.  How much before is anyones guess.  Hopefully around the middle of the month.

Thank you for everyone that has offered their support and encouragement.  There have been days like today where I needed the words of encouragement.  Trying to get things finished in order to get final inspections, in addition to making sure you get all the inspections you need, plus submitting all the paperwork needed to move ahead is a lot of work … and stressful.

A few other things.  Take it from me, when you get a label that you are happy with, something you think you want to produce for your beer, go to a bunch of Liquor Stores and see how it looks on the shelf.  You will be surprised what you learn and I have no doubt that something about your design or direction will change.

For us, we have kept in touch with as many people as possible.  Bloggers, writers, craft beer enthusiasts, home brewers … basically anyone that wants to talk to us about craft beer.  We have asked as many people as many questions as we can about what we are doing, how things work, what they like, preferences in the marketplace, etc.

We did this with our name, via a focus group, and we did this with a bunch of other key items.  However, one thing we didn’t do was take our proposed can design and imagery into the marketplace to see how it would work on shelves.  What we have learned is key, and is something that you should know for when you design a can.  If I could distill the knowledge down to a couple things it would be this.  Put your key items on the top half of your can and make sure you get all the regulated information on the can correct (UPC number and positioning, font size, labelling requirements, etc).

We waited too long to do this, and what we found out was that our imagery, as cool as we thought it was, needed to be moved up the can, made bigger and work with the shelves and flats that would hold our beer.  Luckily for us, we hadn’t yet produced our can, so we can make the changes and then send the can off for printing.  Yes we are going to launch our packaged product in early 2015 once we are happy with the consistency and quality of beer.

Our tasting room is coming together very nicely.  We need to finish a few details, but today our tables went in, and they were bolted to the ground.  It means that we are getting close and soon we will have the final lights, chairs go in, POS and Stereo installed, and warm bodies to make it all come together.  We can’t wait to share this journey with you and we hope you find it as interesting and awesome as we hope you will.

Off to bed ….



10 Days to go …. Ummm what the heck is going on?

Basically, everything is happening right now at the brewery and with our business.  We are starting to look towards inspections, we have a fire plan happening, front of the house is getting finished, and the back of the house is starting to clear out.  Among all this chaos, we are starting to question if we can really open in a mere 10 days from now.  One minute we think we can and the next, well we aren’t so sure.

The biggest concern we have with getting open in time is the inspections we have to complete.  I wrote about these last blog post, but essentially we expect to fail at least one, and its a matter of how much stuff we have missed, and how hard it is to complete, and then how long it takes to get the inspector back and redo the inspection.

There are also a lot of i’s to dot and t’s to cross, and given that we are so bloody tired, you question if you are going to catch them all.  More importantly, are we going to miss something else that is really important.  T-Shirts, growlers, growler caps (oh crap, totally forgot these), business cards, glasses, etc, etc.

So all of these things make us really wonder about opening in 10 days.  I want to say yes, but at the same time, it worries me to put any sort of hard date on it.  Seeing what others have gone through when they get this close, makes me think there is no way of making it.  Just talk to Dave at Powell Street and he can remind you why there should be some reality mixed into things.

So officially, I hope we open as soon we can, but it may not be December 5th … it may be a little later at this point.  One thing is for sure.  We will let you know.

General Update on Progress

Rather than finding the time to write about what has happened in the past 60 days or so, I thought it would be better to just post this video.  It is impossibly hard to do all the things needed to start this brewery, and hopefully this video gives you an idea of all the things we have done.  So sit back and enjoy this video, and hopefully we will see you in about 6 weeks.