That old Tom Petty Song has never seemed more true to me. Lots of waiting goes on in starting a brewery.
We are STILL trying to gather all the info the city needs in order to give us a permit. As of yesterday, the last scrap of info they were asking for had to do with engineering wind and flood loads for the metal building that will house our brewing area. We should get that info to them this week which means a few weeks after that we hope to get a permit.
The frustrating part is that the renovations to the building are all planned out, money has been set aside to make it happen, our contractor is anxious to get in there. But until we get those permits in hand we can’t start turning the building into a brewery. We’re still relatively on schedule for a Nov-Dec equipment installation and March opening, but the next few weeks will be crucial.
At least we’re seeing some progress on our wet zoning. We’ve got our application in and a hearing before the city council this month will determine if we can sell beer on premises. These signs recently popped up around the building. Keep your fingers crossed for us.
In the meantime we’re focusing on what we can do to help this brewery along. We served our first beers at a festival ever over the weekend at Tampa Bay Beer Week‘s Halfway There festival. We served a prototype of our IPA and Grizacca, an american twist on a Belgian Grisette style that Casey brewed up in Maine with our friends up at Oxbow.
I was curious to see what kind of reception we would get, being the new guys on the local craft scene. Would the more established breweries look down on us? Would anyone taste our beer? I shouldn’t have been concerned. All the other brewers were super cool and friendly and the crowds kept our guys busy pouring until all our kegs were empty. I loved both of the beers we served and they seemed well-received by the drinkers milling around, despite the fact that Casey accidentally named one of them after a villain from Power Rangers.
We also got to taste some amazing and creative beers by the other local breweries. There’s lots of brewing talent in Tampa Bay right now. I love how everyone in this craft beer community pulls together and roots for one another. It was amazing to talk to so many cool people and feel so welcomed.
Meanwhile we’re continuing to hone our recipes and work on beers using our 20 gallon pilot system. We’re getting closer to finding our style as a brewery and narrowing down our opening lineup. I’m still not sure what we’ll end up with but I’m excited about the direction we’re going.
We’re also getting started on our barrel program. We’re working on filling them with beery goodness now. With any luck, by the time we open in March we’ll have something good to drink coming out of those barrels. Since we got some shirts made we’ve been receiving cool pics like the one below.
This one is from our friends at Granville Moore’s in DC, which is an awesome Belgian bar that was serving up Grizacca the other day. Keep the pics coming. We love ’em! You can send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for following our progress. We’ll update you again soon.