update: plans submitted. equipment ordered

I am realizing that I am too busy from meeting my lofty goals of blogging often. Since my last update, I purchased my brewing equipment  (i've never made such a large transaction before). I ordered a 15bbl system (1 barrel = 31 gallons). Originally I was thinking that I could only afford a 5bbl system with double-sized fermenters (10bbl), but I found I possibly might be able to scrape together enough for a 10bbl system. Then as I was getting closer to purchasing it, I decided that I might be able to take the risk and purchase the 15bbl system (hoping that I could cut costs somewhere -- perhaps in the construction of the brewery). The 15bbl scenario is the wiser choice of the three options. I've heard and read so much about the challenges of making a profit with a system less than 15bbl (despite the success stories of small ventures in the nanobrewery model). The choice from 5 to 7 to 10 to 15 barrels is like buying an Apple product. You can keep do the "it's only $50 more" to buy the next size up until you just $50 more all the way to $300 more from where you wanted to begin. Take that and add a few zeros and higher degrees of anxiety, then you get the task of purchasing brewery equipment.

Today, I submitted my plans to the City of Torrance for a plan check. I think the bewery layout looks good. I also was told that we might have our hearing for the Conditional Use Permit next month. Hopefully our timing of pushing these two applications simultaneouly will work out. Neil Rubenstein of Rubenstein Architects derserves a big THANK YOU for his helpful services in all this. This is his second brewery project, so I'd recommend him to anyone interested in such an endeavor.

I also switched the web hosting from the free temporary to – which unfortunately is not free, but is a better system for what I want to do and one with which I am familiar.

Next up: introduce myself to the tenants, ABC paperwork, TTB paperwork...


brewery visit - el segundo brewing co.

Today I visited and had lunch with Rob at El Segundo Brewing Company (Blue House Ales). He is nearing the completion of his brewery and it looks great. He has been very helpful in answering my many questions. Thank you, Rob. He also shared his pitfalls and obstacles he encountered along the way from which I hope to learn. It is great to be a part of a community of brewers who help each other out. Also, Rob and I use/used the same architect, Neil from Rubenstein Architects.