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Bring it on 2013!!!

Smith, Alex, and I have been hard at work getting things ready as this year comes to a close. After finally, and I mean finally getting our building permit things have begun to pick up at the brewery. TQ Constructors got the low bid on the job and began work not too long ago. They’ve been doing work on both the inside and the outside of the warehouse. It’s a great team of about ten people who have been working diligently to get things done as quickly as possible for us. So far outside, they have laid all the concrete pads needed for the foundation support of our glycol chiller and silo. A properly set-up glycol system allows us to independently control the temperature of our fermentation vessel. If you drive by the brewery now you will be able to see a huge green silo that stands about 25 feet tall. It will hold our 2-row foundation malt that is used in almost every beer. Once the construction is complete we will be able to convey grain through augers from the silo into the mill room. The mill cracks each malted grain into a few pieces and breaks it out of the husk, but we will get into the brewing process at a later time! If you see the silo, you will definitely notice the large logo on it! Our friends over at Whitfield Signs put that up for us late last week. The logo is about 10 feet by 10 feet. It’s huge! They did a wonderful job, but I have to say watching them put it up was a little bit scary. Initially, the wind was blowing very strongly giving us some concerns about the application process. Those guys strapped into some heavy duty safety harnesses, threw on some hard hats, and got going. It took most of the afternoon, but it was well worth the wait. You can see it right as you hit the top of the bridge heading our way down Bay Street. On the inside of the warehouse the guys have been laying down piping and working on the electrical. Late last week they laid down the concrete pads needed to support the tanks and began putting up the blocks that will create the mill room and boiler room. The boiler was the first piece of equipment to arrive. Now that its in place we built the boiler room walls around it. The rest of the equipment is scheduled to arrive in mid-January. Smith and Alex flew up to Newlands Systems in Canada right before Christmas to complete a water test on the brewing equipment. This allowed them to make sure everything ran smoothly and gave them the opportunity to ask any questions needed to run it. The guys came back with great news! They said the equipment exceeded their expectations and was truly a superior product. The system we ended up going with is a 4-vessel, 30 BBL brew house. We also have five 60 BBL fermentation tanks going. A barrel (BBL) is two kegs worth, so we will have the ability to really put out some beer! The guys ended up having a crazy time getting back. They missed several flights due to weather, so their baggage was delayed several days. After we put together all of the brewing equipment we'll shift our focus to the tasting area. Lucky for us, we may have found a free counter space. My father came across what used to be a large greeting area on one of his jobsites. The counter already has cabinets in it and is about 40 feet long, not to mention its free! The people he is doing the work for wanted to just throw it away, so we are getting it brought to us to see what we can do with it. It looks like it’s in great shape and 40 feet just happens to be the length of the large cooler we will have in the warehouse. With a little bit of modification it could be a fantastic tasting area. The plan is to have a bar right in front of the cooler with some stools for our educational tours and tastings. We calculated that even with the brewing equipment in place, mill room, boiler room, and bar – we will still have about 4,000 extra square feet. For now, tour space. Later, it will be for more tanks! Once we get the proper approval and bring the warehouse up to code we'll start hosting tastings. We are very excited as things keep progressing and coming together. All of the tangible things are almost in place and we can’t forget about this new website! The guys at Sysconn have been absolutely wonderful. Not only are they incredible fun to work with, creative, talented, but they are also extremely professional. I would highly recommend them to anyone looking for web-work. In fact, I think I’ve been sharing their name all over town! Every time I met with them my expectations were exceeded. We know their work will have a huge impact on helping us get the word out about what we are doing. For that, I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart. Of course, we may need to take them out for a couple, no – a few, well – maybe a bunch of beers! I’d also like to thank everyone out there for all of your continued support. You guys have been wonderful in helping us spread the word, so keep up the good work! We will continue to update you as things move forward. Cheers, Carly