This was a big week at Coppertail.  All the architects, engineers, contractors, brewers, concrete experts, etc. met in one room this week to try to get the renovations kicked off.  With many of these experts being paid by the hour, it was easily the most expensive meeting I’ve ever had.  But it will be worth it if it speeds us up.   As you may recall, our equipment will start arriving in November, and we need to have this old warehouse ready to function as a brewery by then.

The Brain Trust in Action: Todd Whitworth, John Rosende, Robb Larson, Tom Dixon, Dave Fraser, Casey Hughes, Mark Benzaquen, and Joe Hafner figuring out how to build this brewery.

These meetings were so important, in fact that our brewmaster, Casey, chose to skip his honeymoon and, instead, fly to Tampa to meet with us.  Now that’s a man who loves beer!

We made some great progress toward getting this building ready during our meetings.  We discovered that our concrete floors can withstand 2-4 thousand pounds of pressure per square inch before they crack which should be more than adequate for our beer tanks. Wohoo!

And, most importantly, with brewers sitting in on the meeting we were finally able to answer all those little questions about the amounts and locations of steam, electricity, glycol, natural gas, etc. necessary for our operations.  Now we can move forward with filing our plans, getting our permits and getting those shovels moving.

This concrete floor is officially strong enough to hold tanks of beer.

All we need to do is upgrade our electricity, get gas service to our boiler, dig trench drains below the brewing areas, coat the concrete floors, raise part of our ceiling, fix up the walls and roof, repave one parking area and create another, and build out a tasting room.  And get it all done before the brewing equipment arrives.  I’m sure it will be a piece of cake.

While Casey was in town we made good progress planning out the beers as well.  We’re looking at a core lineup of 4 styles, with seasonals and special releases to be added later.  We want the first four to cover a good spectrum of beer flavor:  some hoppy, some malty, some easier drinking, some more intense, etc.  We want to be able to go through a beer tasting or beer dinner with our four core beers and have at least one in there that will appeal to just about any craft beer drinker.  Click here for the lineup.

The brewing experiments are multiplying.

Also, in recipe formulation we’re trying to stay true to the motivation behind this brewery.  We want to make beer that is balanced and flavorful.  Beer that you finish and want to drink another one.  Beer that tastes good in the Florida sun and fits our lifestyle.  We have a group of basic recipe ideas.  We’ll be tweaking them and asking for tasters over the coming months.

And, lastly, we bought a bottling line this week.  It’ll be delivered in 4-6 months.  Why bottles?  Why not cans?  That’ll be the topic for another post.

We are getting closer, inch by Inch.

– Kent