East End Brewing Company
Brewery Expansion Report #3: Tragedy, therapy, and paint
Time for a little update on our expansion here. Some of this you've probably seen if you follow us on www.twitter.com/eastendbrewing, but here it in in a more browsable format:
Electrical Service updated: Soon after the purchase of our building, we realized that there were TWO separate electrical service drops from the street. This of course is totally illegal from the Fire Department's perspective. (Imagine cutting what you think is all the power to a building, then spraying water to put out a fire... only to discover the hard way that there's a second "Main Power Cutoff". Ouch!) So we had to consolidate the two inside, and while we were at it, put in a new drop from the street with 600amps of 3 phase power. Running stuff like pumps on 3 phase saves a bit of juice, so it's an easy decision. This will be enough for our "current" needs (har-har) as well as provide a bit of space for growth down the line. Nicholas Electric has been doing this work for us, as well as all our other electrical distribution and installation... and they ROCK!
Finished our concrete pours: In mid-June, we got the last of our concrete poured. So now the brewery floor has a functional trench drain, as well as a creatively designed, water-saving means of naturally flushing it clean using the effluent from out parts washing sink. Yes, a parts sink! As attractive as all those white buckets you've seen at our current place are, we've got space here to do it right.
Tanks are standing up... with only one mishap: There's a saying in this industry - mostly from prople who get into the beer business as a second career like I did. Something like... "The worst day at the Brewery still beats the best day at the Office." And while that rings pretty true, some days can still be pretty bad. Like July 6, 2012...
Yes, that's our brand new Brew Kettle immediately after it FELL off the forks of that fork truck, and onto our concrete floor. It was only up in the air about a foot and a half, but that was enough. I had just screwed the legs into it, and was in the process of hooking up a safety line that would prevent this exact thing from happening... but I got a little ahead of myself.
This happened on a Friday afternoon when I was here by myself, after a full week of long days and nights getting the floor ready for tank placement. I suppose I was a little overzealous and impatient to reach this milestone, as evivenced by this Tweet I sent out moments before I dropped the tank:
@EastEndBrewing: After a year of planning, scheming, and doing, I'm about to place our first brewery tank in position on the new concrete floor. Huzzah!
On it's side was not quite the "position" I had in mind. But the damage appears to be largely cosmetic, landing on the welding seam and completely missing all the tanks fittings - and even then, it's on a side of the tank that's pretty hidden. So this, coupled with the fact that I was not underneath it... you could even call me lucky.
What's that? Our hour is up already? Well, thanks for the therapy session. I've nearly completed my recovery. But full closure will require a pint of beer, brewed in this kettle. This should hold me for now though. Whew!
Growler Room Progressing... sloooowly: To say we've had some contractor-related delays in this area would be like saying there's a little sand on the beach. But, we learn and move on, taking on the last of the finishing work on ourselves. As it looks now, all that's left is some paint work, and then we can start furnishing it properly... with a 500sq ft walk in cooler, a brand new and much improved draft system (better filling: less foam, less waste, more consistent Growler carbonation levels!), a Growler Bar built from lumber salvaged from deconstruction elsewhere in the building, and of course the whole Commonplace Coffee Roasting side of the room, pictured here:
Yes, that's Barn Wood from Indiana PA, which is just one of many bits of creative re-use you'll find here when you see the inside of the place. Speaking of which...
Occupancy Permit Progress: This is what's needed before we can officially let any of you in here. So it's stuff like Emergency Exit Lighting, Fire Exits, and Accessability. None of which are very beer-related (or interesting to talk about in a blog), but necessary steps none the less.
We're hoping to land a permit to let you into the Growler Room as soon as we are ready for you, possibly in advance of getting the brewery side permitted and running. Doing it piecemeal means doing it sooner, in this case.
That's is for now. We're getting pretty close, so hopefully next time you'll get to see the tanks placed in their final resting places, our killer new energy efficient walk in cooler and draft system, and all the other parts and pieces in place and operational. But for now, this will have to do.
Thanks for reading, see you HERE soon!
Cheers - Scott
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