Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bigger Money

We spent an even larger sum of money yesterday. Noooo... well, yes. Lawyers aren't the only people who require engagement letters with retainer deposits. We officially teamed up with Destree Design Architects yesterday. Despite working on highly-stylized places like Samba and Fromagination, the folks at Destree are very grounded and approachable. Helping us evaluate locations and design our facility won't be as lucrative as some of their other projects, but they're cool with that.

I spent the last day of 2008 doing something I love: bottling a batch of Belgian Pumpkin Ale. Bottling is ok on a homebrew scale. There, I'm not a hypocrite.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Big Money

We wrote our first four-figure check today... scary! We've now officially retained a securities lawyer to review our investment offering. Up next: take a few days off to enjoy our families' culinary skills because we can no longer afford food. After that, we'll retain an architect and commence an intensive location search. We practiced this afternoon by checking out an unexpectedly awesome property. As if our spirits weren't high enough, the House Ale tastes fantastic - my experiments with organic ingredients and unfamiliar yeast strains are beginning to pay off in spades. Have a great holiday!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Holiday Beer

It's not a holiday-style beer, but it is the beer I'm bringing back to Michigan for the holidays:

I'm hoping to serve this beer year-round at the pub. The first pilot batch tasted mighty fine before I bottled it today!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Radio Radio

Dean Coffey, the brewmaster at Ale Asylum, thinks that anyone who wants to open a brewery in Wisconsin needs their head examined. I think that anyone who wants to run a bottling line needs their head examined. Joking aside, Dean really captured the essence of Wisconsin's Brewpub Bill in this Beer Talk Today interview:

MBR Podcast 12/9/08

Can we still call the bill SB224? I believe the original proposal was sent back to committee due to overwhelming industry opposition. Calling it "the 2007-2009 budget" isn't very descriptive, though.

Friday, December 5, 2008

More Models

The picture below is of a cold room. My initial sizing estimate, which assumed that 15% of the cold room floor would be empty, didn't have nearly enough space to arrange the tanks and kegs in a usable fashion. The modeling process convinced me to bump the empty floor space to 50%.

The next picture shows a mill room. It's not much to look at, but it was nice to verify that my initial sizing estimate would fit a mill, two pallets of malt and a pallet-wide door path.

I went two for three on my initial sizing estimates. Not bad for my first time!

This Year's Model

A 3D model of the brewery, that is!

I was just hoping to make a crude 2D CAD drawing, but I couldn't find any free software for my old Macintosh. Eventually, I stumbled across Google Sketchup. It's totally counter-intuitive if you've used other 3D modeling programs, but I'm getting the hang of it. All I need it for is to quickly estimate whether or not a given space is big enough to house a brewery. I had no trouble fitting the equipment onto an ambiguous rectangle with the same square footage as my sizing estimates, so I've done a good job so far.