It’s been an amazing past couple weeks here at Coppertail.  Let’s lead with the most important development:  WE HAVE OUR CONSTRUCTION PERMIT IN HAND.  That’s right.  We’ve been working on our renovation plans since summer to try to get that permit, and we finally got it!

Around the time of my last update we thought the city was going to issue our permit any day.  Then they said they weren’t because city water and wastewater had put a hold on it.  We started sweating.  You can’t start a brewery without access to water and sewers.  We have equipment coming, we’re paying rent, we can’t handle many more delays.  Then, suddenly, they lifted the hold, the clouds parted, the angels sang and we finally got our permit to finish the renovations to the brewery area.

I clearly recall Joe Redner writing in his blog years ago about how permitting had tripped them up and to allow extra time for that.  I want to echo that advice to any future brewing entrepreneurs.  Getting all the info the city needs is going to take much longer than you think.  Allow lots of time.  Then multiply that by 2.  Or 4.

The other big news in the past couple weeks is that Casey and I were allowed a brief conjugal visit with our brewhouse under construction at Rolec in Germany.  We were asked to visit, double check the plans, and advise them if any changes were needed before shipping.  Traveling to Germany at first sounded like an expensive and unnecessary boondoggle, but trying to make changes to equipment after taking delivery sounded even more expensive.  So we decided to go.  I’m glad we went because we did end up needing to tweak a few things.

Casey spent most of his time at Rolec in serious concentration, pouring over obscure symbols on the plans and comparing them with the pipes, welds, valves, etc. on our system in the workshop.  He had to ensure everything was in the right place and installed to his satisfaction.  With no commercial brewing experience, my roll was less demanding.  I spent most of my time at the workshop walking slow circles around the brewhouse, gently caressing the sleek steel vessels and moaning softly.  It was beautiful, and much larger than the 25 gallon kettles I’m used to.  Soon that collection of lifeless steel vats and piping will find a higher purpose, making beer.  I can’t wait to get it here to Tampa and fire it up.  Delivery and installation is currently scheduled for mid-January.  We won’t have to wait long to see it again.  Until then, we’ll keep brewing on my 25 gallon kettles.

So, in summary, the last couple weeks have been great.  We have our construction permit.  Our brewing equipment is looking good and almost ready to ship.  Things are starting to come together.  Now we just need to stay focused on getting our building renovations done on a very tight time table.  We’re still targeting a March 2014 opening.  Wish us luck.

Thanks for checking in on us.  Have a great Thanksgiving!