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Coppertail News

#BelgianPale is Beer of the Month @ Hattrick's Tavern

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#BelgianPale is Beer of the Month @ Hattrick's Tavern

We are blushing over the news that Hattrick's Tavern in Downtown Tampa has named #BelgianPale their February Beer of the Month.

#BelgianPale is a Belgian Style Pale Ale (5.4%) featuring fruit and spice flavors from the Belgian Yeast. It has a clean, bright malt flavor and is made with Pilsner malt as well as Belgian Yeast and Belgian Hops.

Head over the Hattrick's Tavern, located in Down Town Tampa (107 South Franklin Street, Tampa 33602) and grab a pint.

If you have tried this one, leave us a comment with your thoughts/review.

Hattrick's will feature #BelgianPale all month long (February 2016) as their Beer of the Month. We truly appreciate the local love. Hattrick's has been a Down Town Tampa staple for many years, giving fans a place to cheer for their favorite teams.

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Tis the season... your holiday lowdown

Many of you are asking what our holiday hours will be. We are open our regular tasting room hours with some holiday exceptions. Check out this infographic, it will give you the scoop on what days we are closing early, opening late or totally closed all together.

Along with if we are open or closed, opening late or closing up early, you have been asking about our holiday brewery tour schedule. 

 

We WILL be hosting tours throughout the holiday hours. Here is our Holiday Tours Schedule. Keep in mind that our Brewery Tours are limited and are first come, first served.

Our Brewery Tor experience costs $7 and includes guided access to our warehouse and brew house as well as a beer to enjoy during the tour and a souvenir logo pint glass to take home. 

 

 

If you are still in search of that perfect last minute holiday gift and your just about to lose it over the crowds, parking and jingle jangle of the store front Santa, hit us up. We have a pretty sweet gift card offer going on until December 24th.

Purchase a gift card for $40 or more for someone else and we will give YOU a gift card for $10 to use on yourself at a later date. There is some fine print, so ask your bartender for details, but the basics are that you may not purchase a gift card with a gift card. This promotion ends on 12/24/2015 or while supplies last. Gift cards take up to 24 hours to activate, so you may not redeem the gift cards at time of purchase.

 

We hope to see you in the tasting room before the holiday, we're here for your hydration needs so that you can get out there and spread that holiday cheer!

 

-Teri

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Give a Gift Card, Get a Gift Card

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Give a Gift Card, Get a Gift Card

In the spirit of giving this season, we would love to award your selfless gift giving-ness and offer you a $10 gift cards for FREE when you purchase a gift cards valued at $40 or more for someone else.

It's our way of saying THANK YOU to you for spreading some holiday cheer.

Some restrictions apply: 
-$40 or more gift card may not be used on the day purchased
-While supplies last
-Deal ends 12/24/2015
-You can't use gift cards to buy gift cards

Ask you bartender for more details in our tasting room.

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Captain Jack's 2016 Stone Crab Stout Boil - Recap!

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Captain Jack's 2016 Stone Crab Stout Boil - Recap!

We hosted our second annual Stone Crab Stout Boil with Loko Cuisine last night and OMG! Not only was is a blast, it was, well... delicious.

We can't thank John, owner and Chef at Loko Cuisine enough for preparing a tasty menu to accompany the freshly caught stone crabs that emerged from our boil. Our Brewmaster Casey traveled to Key West personally to load up 200 pounds of freshly caught stone crabs from none other than Captain Jack himself.

Assistant Brewers Derrick and Matthew timed the brew day  just right for Casey's arrival, seconds after Casey arrived at Coppertail, they were ready for the claws to be added to the boil. It doesnt get any more Florida fresh than this.

 Casey and Derrick add fresh crab claws to Captain Jack's Stone Crab Stout.

Casey and Derrick add fresh crab claws to Captain Jack's Stone Crab Stout.

 Casey pulling some of Captain Jack's crab claws from the boil.

Casey pulling some of Captain Jack's crab claws from the boil.

 Fresh from the boil. Casey, Mike and Derrick get the claws on ice so that they can safely transported to our  Loft where John, of Loko Cuisine, will serve them to guests that attended our Captain Jack's Stone Crab Boil Dinner.

Fresh from the boil. Casey, Mike and Derrick get the claws on ice so that they can safely transported to our  Loft where John, of Loko Cuisine, will serve them to guests that attended our Captain Jack's Stone Crab Boil Dinner.

 John, of Loko Cuisine, and Casey crack a few claws to ensure that they are perfect and ready to hit the table for our guests.

John, of Loko Cuisine, and Casey crack a few claws to ensure that they are perfect and ready to hit the table for our guests.

If you attended our Captain Jack's Stone Crab Stout Boil/Dinner, we thank you so much for coming and hope that you had a delicious time. We are already looking forward to next year!

If you couldn't make it this time, keep an eye out for our next event with John of Loko Cuisine. We will be hosting a delicious steakhouse style dinner in February.

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#WinterArtBazaar Recap - Our First Art Show in the Loft

We had an amazing time hosting the FIRST Art Bazaar with local artists, Tim Gibbons of Funky As A Monkey and Teri Navajo. The show consisted of 17 local artists, all offering a wide variety of wares and art that was not only on display but available for purchase. 

The Winter show spanned two days (Friday + Saturday) and showcased unique pieces by unique artists. The event was a blast and we had a great opening the Loft for the show, we are already in the planning phases for a Spring show this coming year.

The Winter Art Bazaar artist line up included:

Tim Gibbons, artist/owner of Funky as a Monkey Art Studio

Teri Navajo, artist/owner of ShePaintsThings

Macy Higgins, artist/owner of Macy Eats Paint

Michael Vahl, visual artist

David + Patricia Beebe, photographer/owner of B Squared

Brent Thornton, visual artist

Emily Levy, visual artist

Francine Bauer, visual artist

Lisa Gellens + Stephanie Harden, owners of Lisa+Stephanie (Jewelry Boutique)

Marie Shadt, visual artist

Virginia Butler, visual artist

Dorothy Banker, visual artist

Ronald Hardin, visual artist

Kurt Moss, Woodworking/Craftsman

Judy Bales,

If you missed the show, check out these photos from various artists. We will be hosting a Spring show, and will announce dates/times soon. Thank you to everyone who showed their work from the Life Enrichment Center, Individually and collectively. Also, thank you to everyone who came to support local art, small businesses, and the Tampa Arts community.




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It's Black Friday! Check out this new stuff in the store

We've added some new items to our online store. If your in the gift-giving mood, we will direct ship your item to the recipient for you OR if your feeling extra "grinchy" just buy stuff for yourself, we don't judge.

Above is just a taste of all the Coppertail swag you can get your paws on. Check out the full range of items here and find something for every beer drinker on your list.

FYI: Items purchased online throughout the weekends will always be shipped on the following Monday.

-Teri

 

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We're closed for Thanksgiving

Our tasting room and offices are closed today in observance of Thanksgiving. 

Our tasting room will reopen tomorrow at noon. Our offices will return to normal business hours on Monday, November 30th. We apologize if your Facebook comments go unanswered or if your emails don't get a prompt reply during the holiday weekend however we feel that time spent with family is most important for our hard working employees and we knew you would understand. Our office staff will be available to answer your questions upon return November 30th. Happy Thanksgiving!

Cheers!

- Teri

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Captain Jack's 2nd Annual Stone Crab Stout Boil - 12/10/15

Mark your calendars! We are excited to host our 2nd annual Captain Jack's Stone Crab Stout Boil featuring Loko Cuisine. This stone crab feast is a ticketed event in our private event space, the Loft. Space is limited.

Get ready for to upgrade your Thursday night. The event will feature a rustic and authentic crab boil dining experience. Each guest will be served 2.5 pounds of Key West stone crab, caught fresh by Captain Jack himself. Casey, our brew master, will boil the crabs in our stout while Loko Cuisine serves sides and sauces to compliment the feast.

Oh, and did we mention? Your first beer is on us! As if your mouth wasn't already watering.

Tickets are $50 each person and available online at Loko Cuisine, remember, this is a ticketed only event and space is limited.

Coppertail Brewing is located across from Ikea at 2601 East 2nd. Ave., Tampa 33605.

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Winter Art Bazaar in the Loft

We're celebrating local art in a big way during our Winter Art Bazaar, hosted by Tim Gibbons of Funky as a Monkey Art Studio and Teri Navajo of Create Vibrant. These local artists are hosting 14 local makers in our private Loft space. This event is free to attend and open to the public.

14 local artists will display their works in semi-traditional Christkindlmarkt (a German art fair) fashion. Join us for locally made pieces that will be available for purchase. This fair is a great way to shop local for the holiday season or for yourself.

The artists:

Tim Gibbons, artist/owner of Funky as a Monkey Art Studio

Teri Navajo, artist/owner of Create Vibrant

David Beebe, photographer/owner of B Squared

Brent Thornton

Emily Levy

Francine Bauer

Lisa Gellens + Stephanie Harden, owners of Lisa+Stephanie (Jewelry Boutique)

Marie Shadt, visual artist

Virginia Butler, visual artist

Dorothy Banker, visual artist

Macy Higgins, artist/owner of Macy Eats Paint

Ronald Hardin

Michael Valladares, visual artist.

The show starts at 4pm on Friday, December 4th and will run until 10pm. Saturday, December 5th you may join us from noon to 10pm.

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Thanksgiving Holiday Hours

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Thanksgiving Holiday Hours

We noticed that you have been asking about our upcoming holiday hours. We are still working on the final word for Christmas through New Year's but here is our confirmed Holiday Schedule for Thanksgiving.

We wont be opening our Tasting Room or Offices on Thanksgiving Day at all and our offices are closed on Black Friday, so please bear with any questions or comments that may go unanswered during this time best spent with family (not Facebook.)

 

Thanksgiving Eve - Normal Tasting Room Hours (noon - 11pm)

Thanksgiving Day - Closed

Black Friday - Normal Tasting Room Hours (noon - midnight)

- Teri

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Seasonal Relief, it's back to save you from your relatives.

We know that you love Aunt Maude, but sometimes you just need a little relief from the holiday season and all that it brings with it. So to help a little, we sent bottles of Seasonal Relief to our distributors yesterday and earlier this morning so that you can drink up to get through the season. You should be seeing these vessels of salvation on your favorite retailers shelves soon.

Seasonal Relief is a Baltic Porter, 8.5% ABV, and features elderberries and goji berries that pair perfectly with the rich, malty and toasty flavors of this beer.

We will have Seasonal Relief available for purchase on draft and depending on the demand, we may have bottles as well. You will be able to find this out in the market at many of your usual/favorite beer retailers. Let us know where you find this treat, tag us on Facebook or Instagram or just post a comment/photo below.

Cheers!

Teri

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Facebook: Friend or Foe? Plus an update on our hours.

While our website undergoes a face lift you may notice that there are things being added, removed, replaced or temporarily vanishing only to randomly reappear when you least expect it. We’re growing and some times growing means that you encounter “growing pains” so bear with us on the site redesign.

The best place to find our daily hours of operation is via our Facebook page. Below is a break down of our standard hours, but keep in mind that with this being the week of Christmas, hours may change at the discretion of our Tasting Room GM. Check the Facebook page regularly for daily updates on changes to our hours.

Mon – Thu: 4:00 pm – 11:00 pm

Fri: 4:00 pm – 12:00 am

Sat: 2:00 pm – 12:00 am

Sun:   12:00 pm – 7:00 pm

One last note about Facebook… a few of you have mentioned that our hours say “closed” on your mobile device however you are standing in the tasting room showing this to our bar staff as they are pouring you a beer. Sorry guys, we can’t make Facebook play nice. We aren’t entirely sure why this happens to some people. The Facebook gurus have suggested completely uninstalling your Facebook application from your mobile device, completely powering your mobile device down, then power on again and re-install the Facebook application from ground zero. Also, the Facebook tech we spoke with wont guarantee that this will “fix it” for everyone. So basically, if you have a device that is more than 11 months old, you haven’t run a software update, you’re on spotty WiFi or its just not your day and your new nickname is “Murphy” you may just have to check out the page listing the day of and see if we have posted a change in hours. Odds are we haven’t, unless it’s a holiday.

Hopefully this clears up any confusion and if it hasn’t, then feel free to email us at Info@CoppertailBrewing.com

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Brewery Update 12: Wet zoning / Feds / and more

In my last update back in October I whined about how we were still waiting on all sorts of regulatory approvals.  Our progress seemed frozen.  Right after that post the ice started to break.  I’m pleased to report we are now seeing movement on lots of issues that were slowing us down.

First, the day the government shutdown ended we received word that our Federal Brewer’s Notice had been approved.  That’s right, we are no longer just four guys hanging out in a warehouse and making beer.  Now we’re four guys hanging out in a warehouse making beer and paying lots of federal beer taxes.  According to the Feds we are officially a brewery.

Next we had to go to a couple hearings at city hall to ask them to ‘wet zone’ our warehouse.  Wet zoning is required any time a business wants to sell alcohol to the public.  Without the wet zoning we can’t operate a tasting room.  Without a tasting room our new brewery would be dead.

Approval was not a sure thing.   This warehouse is a pretty big area to zone for alcohol sales, and it’s in a part of Ybor where there’s currently no alcohol being served.  Maybe the surrounding homeowners and businesses would argue against us.  Maybe the city officials would decide there’s enough alcohol up on 7th in Ybor, and they didn’t want any of it spreading to the neighborhoods and industrial areas of southeastern Ybor.

After explaining the project and sitting through two different 3-hour hearings, however, our hard work and patience paid off.  No one argued against us.  The city council liked our plans. We were rewarded with unanimous approval of our wet zoning.  I think the city understands the good things local craft breweries can bring to a community in terms of jobs, tourism, and neighborhood pride.  Thanks, City Council!

Also in October, our brewmaster, Casey, was asked to judge the Great American Beer Fest in Colorado.  The four of us headed out there for a few days of beer tasting.  We sampled some delicious offerings from 7Venth SunSwampheadDue South and others in the Florida section.  Some of the longest lines at the festival were in front of the tables for Cigar City and Funky Buddha.  Way to go, guys!  Cigar City took a gold medal in the Pro-Am competition for their Poblano beer.   Casey’s Octoberfest from his previous brewery took a silver medal.  It was an amazing experience to see so many great beers and talented brewers in one place.  We look forward to going back next year with some beer of our own.

Just after we returned from GABF we got to serve up some early prototypes of our beer at Richard’s Run 5k in Ybor.  Runners were given drink tickets and had the choice of spending them on industrial mass produced lager at one table, or Coppertail at our table.  Would anyone want to try this tiny new beer company?  A line quickly formed at our table and grew longer and more crowded as the night went on.  I was especially pleased to see the same faces several times as people scrounged for more beer tickets then waited in our line again.  We ran through all our beer and had to close down early.  We were sorry to disappoint the late comers, but it was thrilling to see people enjoying the beer.  We’ll keep you posted on where and when we’ll be serving next.  In the meantime we’re working on brewing up more.

Currently, our biggest obstacle is in getting the permits we need to build out the brewing area and tasting room.  For a couple weeks we’ve been told we should be getting the permits any day now.  We need to get started on that work immediately if we’re going to stay on schedule for a March opening.  The people at the city have been kind and are working with us, but I just hadn’t realized how slow this process moves.  Cross your fingers that we’ll get those permits in hand soon, or we won’t have anywhere to put all our brewing equipment when it arrives in late December.

Speaking of equipment, our brewhouse manufacturer in Germany has asked us to come look at the brewing equipment before they finish it up.  If any changes need to be made, it’s best to figure that out before it leaves their shop.  It’s a tough job, but Casey and I have agreed to fly over to Munich this week and take a look.  We’ve had this system on order since March and I’ve been dreaming of the day we finally get to see it.  I can’t wait.  Keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook feeds for pictures and updates.

When I write my next update let’s hope we have our permits in hand and are working like crazy to get this old warehouse renovated!

– Kent

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Brewery Update 11: A brewery is a state of mind

Over dinner with a friend recently I mentioned that we had just ordered kegs for the brewery. 500 stainless steel kegs delivered to our doorstep is going to cost us thousands.  (Take heed breweries in planning.  You need to budget big money for your own fleet of kegs, or use a keg rental service.  The distributors and bars definitely don’t provide those for you.)

My friend raised his eyebrows at our keg order.  “So you must have gotten your Federal Brewer’s License back.”

“No,” I said.  “Our application has been in for months.  Still waiting.”

“But you have your wet zoning?”

“Not, exactly,” I explained, “We got a unanimous ‘yes’ vote at the first hearing, but there’s one more hearing to go.”

“Well, you’ve at least got your permits to build this brewery, right.”

I shook my head.  “Not yet.”

His eyes widened.  “What the hell are you doing buying 500 kegs when you haven’t been approved for anything, yet?   What if they deny you? Are you insane?”

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I had to laugh.  Anyone who starts a brewery must be a little insane.  Every new brewery spends months, sometimes years operating only in the mind of the lunatic start-up brewer while he or she advances huge sums of money and effort to make it materialize.  It can’t be done any other way.

Take the federal brewer’s license.  It’s illegal to have a brewery without one.  But you can’t get one until you have a functioning brewery.  You simply cannot get pre-approval.  You just have to build a brewery and hope for the best.

Similarly, you can’t ask the city council to wet zone a potential property just in case you pick that location to start your brewery.  No, you have to pick a space, ask nice and cross your fingers.  And you can’t get permits to renovate until you’ve picked a building and produced detailed plans of what you’re going to do, by which point you’re almost certainly committed beyond the point of turning back.

And once you commit to buying some brewing equipment it may take up to a year to arrive, so you’d better not wait until your space is totally ready before you make that commitment unless you want to be twiddling your thumbs and paying rent in your finished brewery building for over half a year waiting for your equipment to come in.

So, no.  We don’t technically have a brewery, yet.  But, yes, we’re ordering kegs.  And we’ve already ordered brewing and packaging equipment, and contracted for hops and other raw materials and signed a lease and done lots of other irrevocable stuff that’s sounds alarmingly risky to most sane people.  We’re still waiting on our Federal Brewer’s License, wet zoning, and construction permits, but we have faith that we’ll gather all the necessary paperwork over the coming months.

We’re inching closer.  This insane dream may soon become a reality.

I almost forgot.  Progress update:

  • We passed the first city council vote for wet zoning to sell beer on the property last week.  The second vote should be coming up in a couple weeks.  So far so good. 
  • Our very own Dave Iwansky just turned 40!  Man, he’s old.
  • Casey, our Brewmaster, just finished a collaboration brew with Green Bench that will go on tap in their tasting
  • room, soon.  I hear it’s an IPA chocked full of Citra called Across the Bay IPA.

  • A band called Stages and Stereos shot a music video in our tore up old warehouse the other day.  We had fun drinking beer with them before the shoot.  We wish them well on the new album.
  • We’ll be serving beer at Richard’s Run 5k the evening of Friday Nov. 1.  Sign up now.  (You can even skip the run and just hang out at the finish line party with us.)
 Casey, Khris and Steve enjoy wholesome refreshment after a long brew day.

Casey, Khris and Steve enjoy wholesome refreshment after a long brew day.

That’s it for this update.  We’ll be heading west next week for the Great American Beer Fest in Colorado.  More updates soon.

-Kent


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Brewery Update 9: Demo, Halfway and Wazoo

The last couple weeks have flown by.  The most exciting new development is that the demolition portion of the renovations is in full swing.

There’s REALLY no turning back, now!  We plan to knock down part of the warehouse in order to build a parking lot for the tasting room.  After so many months of waiting and planning it’s super exciting to see some physical progress.  We’re still working on getting permits for the work we need to do in the brewing area (Installing drains, boiler, upgrading electic service, adding gas service) and the permits for creating the tasting room.

We’re also excited to report we’ve been invited to participate in the Halfway There beer fest at the Cuban Club on September 7th.  Come by our stand for the only kegs of Oxbow Coppertail Grizacca in the Tampa Market.

Also, in fun news, Coppertail just had it’s first sighting on a restaurant menu thanks to the Grizacca.

And, we had a great time pouring beer with the Brandon Bootleggers Homebrew club and talking beer at the Wazoo beer fest recently.

Lots of test brewing still going on as we hone our opening lineup.

And thanks to the demolition we got a sneak peek at the view from our tasting room:

So, in summary, we’re still mostly playing the waiting game:  waiting on construction, waiting on some permits, waiting on equipment delivery.  But, we’re still on schedule to be ready for our equipment to arrive starting in November.  And, in the meantime we’re busy test brewing beer and trying to get some of our beer out there into peoples mouths.

Oh, yeah, and our ONLINE STORE is now open.  We had lots of people asking for T-Shirts so we opened it up a few months early.  The brewery isn’t done being built yet, but you can help spread the word.

Thanks for checking in on us, and we’ll write another update soon.

– Kent

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Brewery Update 8: 11 Questions with Casey Hughes

Instead of posting a normal update this week we thought it might be fun to let you get to know our Brewmaster, Casey Hughes, a bit better.  We sat down at the brewery today and asked him the tough questions.  So here they are, 11 hard hitting questions with Casey Hughes:

1. How did your brewing career start? 

CH: Luck.  I moved to Key West just after High School and at age 18 I managed to get a job working the bottling line at the old Key West Brewery.      

2. After Key West you moved up to Philadelphia to brew at Flying Fish.  What beer are you proudest of from that time in your career?

CH: I’m proudest of the Exit 4 Trippel.  That beer was the first time in my career I had free reign to develop a recipe and do whatever I wanted.  I was shocked when it won gold at Great American Beer Fest and was later picked by Men’s Journal as best Belgian beer in America. 

3. As you were looking at opportunities to go brew in Florida why did you choose this one?

CH: When I came down to Tampa to meet with Kent it just seemed like we were on the same page regarding how to do a brewery right.  We had similar ideas on equipment, beer, and what we wanted to do.  It just seemed like the right fit. 

4. Coppertail and Flying Fish both seem to depict sea creatures in their logos.  Why the policy of only working at nautical themed breweries?

CH: It has worked out that way hasn’t it?  I don’t know.  I love the water.  I used to do commercial fishing and lobstering when I lived in Key West.  I must just be drawn to nautical creatures. 

5. What excites you about Tampa and Florida as a beer market?

CH: Tampa is a really exciting place to brew beer because it has so much room to grow, but it has a good foundation in place.  It’s a relatively young market, but there’s already some great craft beer down here. Guys like Cigar City have already done so much to put Tampa bay on the map for craft beer.  And now there’s so many new breweries opening, and so much good beer being made down here, and the beer culture is growing.  It’s like where some of the more developed markets were 15 years ago and I think it’s going to be amazing to watch it grow and to try to be a part of that. 

6. Besides beer, what drew you to Tampa as a place to live?

CH: The water, the weather and the people.  I love boating and fishing, and this seemed like a great place for that.  And the fact that I don’t have to deal with snow anymore makes it even better.  People have been nice, too.  

7. Let’s say there’s a rematch of the 2008 World Series between the Phillies and the Rays? Who are you rooting for?

CH: No comment.  Next question. 

8. The Philadelphia area is famous for Philly beer week and its craft beer culture.  How does Tampa beer culture compare?

CH: I see a lot of excitement for great beer here which is like Philly.  I think in a few years Tampa is going to become an amazing destination spot for beer and could rival some of the better beer cities in the country. 

9. What kind of beer do you want to see Coppertail make?

CH: Balanced, floral, citrusy, dry IPA’s.  Neat, easy drinking Florida beers and some funky, fun, Belgian Saison’s, too.  I’d really like to play around with some barrel aged beers.  A little bit of everything.  I just want to make lots of good beer. 

10. Many craft beer fans can point to an “Aha” moment when a beer really surprised them and got them interested in craft beer.  Any Aha moments stick out in your mind?

CH: The first time I tried Sierra Nevada was a big Aha moment for me.  How did they do that?  It really made me want to get into brewing.  90% of professional brewers my age might have that same answer.  Also, my first Belgian beer, Chimay, was an eye-opening experience, and that started me down the road of making Belgians. 

11. We’ve noticed you like to blast music while you’re brewing?  Which song or type of music makes the best tasting beer?

CH: It’s a tie.  Rage against the Machine and NWA both do a great job of helping beer be the best it can be.

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Brewery Update 7: The Brewer has Arrived

We’ve added another co-worker at the brewery since my last update.  Introducing Casey Hughes, our brewmaster.

Casey comes to us from Philadelphia where he was head brewer and director of production at Flying Fish in New Jersey.  After over 10 years at Flying Fish he wanted to return to Florida where he had started his brewing career, and be a part of the craft beer revolution going on down here.  You can read a more detailed bio here.  With his level of skill, experience, and passion for craft beer, I can’t imagine anyone better to lead production at this brewery.  We can’t wait to drink his beer.

So what else have we been up to the past couple weeks?  First of all, beer development is in full swing on our little 20 gallon homebrew system.   There’s lots of beer bubbling away in our fermentation fridges.  We hope to get some beer out there for people to taste, soon.

And, then there’s lots of tasting of previous batches to be done.  I never knew tasting beer could be such hard work, but these guys take the job pretty seriously.

Also, we’ve been trying to get out and talk to some other local breweries.  There’s an amazing spirit of comaraderie in Tampa’s craft beer community.  We honestly want to see each other succeed and take more market share from the giant industrial breweries.  Working together, I think we’ll do some amazing things in this town.

After meeting Khris at Green Bench in St. Pete, Casey was invited to help with the install of their beautiful new brewhouse.  Installation went well and we hear they should have some beer for us all to drink in September.

Speaking of equipment, ours is still on order and getting closer to being ready.  Our friends Jan and Uwe from Rolec flew out to meet with us recently and go over the drawing and designs of all the equipment.  They’re still on track to ship equipment to us in November.  Which means we have to get floor drains in and make a few other modifications to the building before then.  There’s still time to get it all done, but the clock is ticking.

Building renovations are moving forward a bit more as guys have started showing up and putting up framing for new walls.  Meanwhile we’re busy getting bids and trying to get permits on the other work.

That’s it for now.  Thanks for checking in on us and we’ll post again soon.

-Kent


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Brewery Update 2: Equipment and Concrete

This past week brought a few exciting developments.

First, after months of deliberation, and negotiation we FINALLY signed our official equipment purchase contract for our brewing equipment.  We had already reached a verbal agreement earlier in April that got our order into the queue.  (With all the new craft breweries springing up in the U.S. all the major equipment manufacturers seem to be running 6-10 month lead times.  Yikes!)  But it was nice to see it all in writing, so we could sign on the dotted line and finally put that issue behind us.

We hope our equipment arrives in November and if we’re really lucky we may still hit our goal of producing some beer on our new system by the end of the year.  My fingers are crossed.

The second exciting bit of progress was when an engineering firm showed up and started drilling holes in our concrete floors.  It turns out before you put giant steel tanks full of liquid on an old dilapidated concrete floor it’s a good idea to make sure the floor can support lots of weight.  We don’t want our shiny new tanks tumbling to the ground the first time we fill them up.  (Although the ensuing beer tsunami would be undeniably cool to watch.)  So far the core samples look encouraging.  We’ll learn more when we get the report later.

Robb and I could not be any more anxious to get our building renovations going.  We can’t start the renovations until we have permits and we can’t get our permits until we submit a site plan, and we can’t finish the site plan until someone can answer all the little questions like, “Where exactly is the steam boiler going to go?  Where will all the steam piping and glycol lines run? ” All questions I can’t answer off the top of my head.  I thought we could figure a lot of this stuff out as we go along, but apparently the city doesn’t roll that way.

We’ve planned a meeting later this month with our architect, engineer, and our fearless brewmaster, Casey.  Together they should be able to annihilate any question the city can throw at them.  The clock is ticking.  The equipment arrives in six months.  We have to get those shovels moving.

– Kent

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Brewery Update 1: Recipes, and Equipment

Casey just flew down to Tampa for a quick weekend pow-wow on brewery planning.  He saved us lots of money by pulling unecessary items out of the equipment budget, and tweaking the layout a bit.  (Evidently, the giant cowboy hat and rubber paddle ball set I wanted are not strictly necessary to produce great beer.)

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We also discussed what we’re trying to do with the beer lineup so we can nail down hop contracts.  With more and more breweries entering the craft brewing scene,  and all of them looking to make heavily hopped beers, we expect access to hops to get tight.  Contracting with growers ahead of time may be the best way to make sure our cold boxes stay filled with hoppy goodness.  I honestly don’t remember all the hops we decided on, but I can say we’re trying to get ahold of some varieties that are so new to the market, they have code numbers instead of names.  So, hopheads, rejoice!  We should have something new and exciting for you later this year.

For the full details on the beer lineup we decided on click here.

After all that meeting we were parched, so we headed over to The Tampa Bay Brewing Company where the seasonal pale ale proved to be exactly the restorative we needed.

Casey’s on his way back up to Philly now where over the next two months he needs to: finish planning his wedding, get married, find a place to live in Tampa, and move, all while working full time at his previous job and continuing to field random brewing questions from me.  Piece of cake, right?

So that, gentle reader, is the update for now.  This week I will turn my attention toward figuring out how to get the building renovations moving.

Cheers!

– Kent

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