MARCH IS ON
Two amazing smells hit me while I was moving buckets of spent grain out into the alley behind the brewery this weekend - chocolate and boiling hops. Those two things typically do not go well together in beer, but it was not beer that was responsible for the chocolate aroma. It was the cocoa processor across the street working overtime just as Dan was finishing up the boil for a batch of saison (we vent the boil kettle outside into the alley). Being in an industrial complex, there was the potential to have a lot unpleasant smells lingering in the air, but fortunately, we only have to deal with the ones associated with chocolate chip cookies and beer. #delightful.
We have busy at the brewery over the last month, but kicking off the first batch of beer last Thursday was an uplifting/energizing/scary event. There were hiccups, messes, high-fives, and water everywhere. The hiccups were with cooling equipment, so no risk to the beer. But we certainly made a mess. Grain and hops debris were everywhere. It is true that half of a brewer’s day is spent cleaning. But by the end, beer (actually the prelude to beer since it needs to ferment for two weeks) was created and high fives were generously given.
All the construction was finished last month with the exception of a few minor touches (i.e. our awesome fire house doors are coming soon) so Dan has diverted his attention to brewing while I have focused finishing the tasting room space.
The bar top in particular has been my personal odyssey. There was a slight concavity to the wood after we put it in place on the bar and so it had to be planed down. I used a hand planer to tackle the job. Using this tool to get a 20 ft bar perfectly level and flat is like using a spoon to shovel the snow off your driveway. It works, but it’s not the best tool for the job.
Even though I’m knocking it, I won’t deny that it was one of the most badass tools we used to build the brewery. It can chew through wood at a rate of 5/64” per pass. So much wood debris was generated that I had to permanently hook the exhaust to a shop vacuum so that the brewery didn’t turn into a giant hamster cage.
200 passes later, the bar top is fairly level and mostly flat in most places:) But it looks damn fine.
Only a few more weeks until opening. Date coming soon.