Happy NEW YEAR Ladies and Gents! Who’da thunk that we would have made it this far?! Well, 2015 is here and I know I’m excited! Here’s the lowdown on BriarScratch Brewery as of this morning from the homestead. So much that I want to spill out into text but I’m going to try and keep things to a minimum here. As many of you know, this is not just a business, actually kind of far from it. When I got into homebrewing and the craft beer movement in 2009, I had no idea this is what would be happening in 2015. Even when I bought the building and 9 acres in 2011, I would have never dreamed it would turn into the ultimate hobby dwelling, and Sumner’s first brewhouse at that. Since working with the County zoning and gaining approval in May 2014, I have been hard at it, being my own engineer, contractor, foreman, and laborer. I’ve designed and made tangible everything from every door knob, to every light switch and it is so incredibly rewarding to take some thought bubble and a few dollar signs and turn it into something so unique and functional. Of course I haven’t done it all alone. I have had a tremendous amount of help from a few family members, a crafty and dedicated girlfriend, and a great number of talented friends and local workers. Today, at this very moment I have a drywall crew sanding the final coat of mud and by later this afternoon we will be cleaning the floors and dusting off the walls to prep for paint. Jessica and I are making a pot of Beer Cheese Soup and some Spinach dip to feed our little Sunday evening paint party. Thankfully the arctic cold has broken and we have somewhat decent temperatures to move forth with the finishing touches. So before I finish on what is happening, here is a rundown of what has happened:
July: Worked with Commerce Union Bank on business account, Framed interior rooms inside exisiting structure (office, cold room, fermentation room, bathroom, utility room) Started from scratch with plumbing and septic and roughed in all pipes and utilities. Filed federal brewing application, Set up insurance plan.
August: Began electrical wiring, installed water heaters, ordered brewhouse equipment, installed HVAC system received first Sumner County beer manufacturing permit, Dept of Agriculture consultation.
September/October: Slightly dormant. I travel quite a bit with my current job so that left me with not much time to deal with construction projects.
November: Kicked things into gear! Brewhouse equipment delivered, electrical finalized, plugs and lights installed, cleared 12 trees from property for future parking/turn around, began insulation and wood paneling, began donation campaign to fund kegs and equipment.
December: Received federal licensing, spent a lot of money at Lowes, laid down epoxy floor sealer, purchased 70 kegs, finished custom walk-in cooler, Threw awesome Christmas Party finished insulation and covered walls, hung interior doors, cut and framed new exterior door for loading deck, received custom brew kettle stands, plumbed propane hard line, installed custom exhaust fan, ordered 1000 gallon propane tank from Amerigas, set up Brewer’s Supply Group account, started on federal tax paperwork, submitted design for keg labels, submitted application for federal label approval, lots of other behind the scene odds and ends.
Now we’re here in January and very close to having a fully operational brewhouse. Before we can brew we have to receive a permit from the TN Dept. of Agriculture. Everything must be sealed, washable, sanitary, safe, labeled, and documented. Drywall crew is finishing today, paint will go down over the next 48 hours. Then we will stain the wood paneling to give it that “cabin style” color and feel. I’ll set the sinks and start trimming around doors and windows, then caulking every nook and cranny. We are getting a required bacteria test run on our spring water this week and are optimistic on positive results. Tomorrow I will be making the brewery’s first of many grain sack, hops, and yeast order. The end of the week I am making a trip down to Decatur, AL to pickup our four 110 gallon plastic fermenter tanks, and heat exchanger. By the middle of next week we should receive that final inspection and (HOPEFULLY) have beer in the new fermenter tanks by the weekend of January 23rd. If all goes well, be looking for a BriarScratch Brewing release party to happen sometime around the weekend of February 20th.
You read it here first, folks! This is all tentative and subject to change but I’m really pushing for the official brand launch before the end of February. We will have a list in just a few weeks of participating retailers that will be a part of the official launch. Stay tuned, and drink craft beer. Cheers!