And so the adventure continues. As we look ahead along this crazy route we have mapped for ourselves, a turn in the road from what I would have pictured happening just five years ago, I imagine the bumps getting smaller. I hope for the bumps to get smaller. Maybe just some rolling hills to make it interesting?Read More
We last left you with a metaphorical dark cloud suspended over our heads when we received news of the broken private sewer lateral. Today, I'm happy to say--and just a day after a real storm that brought wind, rain, and hail--we have a brand new sewer lateral installed. This couldn't have been done without the help of all of our supporters out there that contributed to our crowdfunding campaign. So to that, we raise our pint glasses, and say cheers!
On February 6th, we held our pre-construction open house and invited the neighborhood and supporters into our space to give thanks and answer any questions about our project. The turn out was amazing, and served to invigorate Teresa and I with new found energy and excitement.
The following week, chalk lines were snapped, and the brewery and tasting room is beginning to gain life. What a great feeling to finally see things coming into shape. On February 18th, we had a kick off meeting with our general contractor and trades, and now have a complete schedule in hand. I'll be sure to post photos to our various social media sites as well as the website of the entire construction project.Read More
Another day, another unexpected cost. The good news is that we received our building permit from the city of Oakland--the bad news is they require us to get a private sewer lateral certification. While I applaud the efforts of the municipalities involved to save the bay, when I found out about the requirement for our final inspection, I watched as a dark, lighting-filled cloud rolled slowly over my head. The thunder roared, and I was drenched in sweat.
"In July 2014, EBMUD, the cities of Alameda, Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Oakland and Piedmont and Stege Sanitary District agreed to a consent decree with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, state and regional water boards, and two community organizations that gives the cities and districts until 2036 to repair and replace sewer lines, reduce the amount of infiltration and inflow and reduce discharges of partially treated sewage into San Francisco Bay during heavy storms."
Skip to the scene where the plumber is using a camera mounted on a steel cable to capture video of the sewer run. Turns out our PSL is made of clay, is old, cracked, and broken. It will need to be replaced. In the end, this is probably a blessing in disguise. I can't imagine what horrors would have jumped from the shadows if we began brewery operations without knowing about a broken sewer line. Now, it is only a matter of how to pay for it. Tune in next week, for another episode of "So you want to start a brewery?"Read More
What does it take to start a brewery? Granted this post is probably premature, but I've learned a ton since putting our plan into action. Everything you read out there is mostly true. It takes a lot of money, hard work, and time, but I think the thing I had to learn the most was a sense of patience. We live in a city where there are a ton of construction projects mushrooming up due to the current extreme growth of Oakland. This means that the people who need to approve your project are probably overworked, and have a limited bandwidth to listen to how your project is different from others, or don't want to hear that certain new legislation was passed which removes requirements on your plan, or that you made a poor business decision and now you need the city to do something to make things better--faster. No, things move at a constant rate and in a certain order, so fall in line, and wait like the others (of course if you have trillions of dollars, I'm sure these cosmopolitan hurdles do not pertain to you). There have been those compassionate souls who have been willing to listen, and there have been those who take the hard line and do not budge. Patience costs money, but when working on a large (well, large to us) project, it is important to consider things on the entire scale, and not get bogged down on a single item. Choose your battles. Figure out which road blocks are show stoppers and which are only inconveniences. Here are some other bullet points to consider when starting a brewery:Read More
This is our call to action. Please consider contributing to our indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. We cannot open our doors without your help. Support your local brewery by sharing this post with anyone you think enjoys a good beer, and might want to help us out.
We need your contribution to renovate our space at 6510 San Pablo Avenue in Oakland, California. Check out our indiegogo page to see the perks you get by giving us a hand. Besides the awesome swag, you could secure a chance to design, brew, and name a Novel Brewing Company beer, receive 1 free beer a week for a year, or hold your very own private party for 30 of your friends in our tasting room!Read More
When I was a kid, my mom would take my sister and I to downtown St. Louis to pick up my stepdad from work. Sometimes--just sometimes--he would be running late, and we got to go in and explore. This was our little adventure, which often started with a stern warning that we should touch nothing because our legs and arms would be cut off.Read More
A move across the Bay to get some extra space was in the works. After several misses, we found a single-family craftsman in Oakland that had a backyard with apple and fig trees, and best of all—a stellar garage with an unfinished bathroom and a concrete floor and drain. I was sold. From that moment on, the garage—ah I mean Oakland, became our home.Read More
Over the weekend, I got a chance to play with my new toy: a **Milton Roy Spectronic 21UVD** spectrophotometer. It has the ability to use both the visible (SRM test) and ultra violet spectrum (IBU test), but yesterday I used only visible light to measure the color of beer.Read More
It started in Seattle Washington in 2006. I was working at a video game company--although maybe you could say it went back to my college days, drinking a growler of Shed Mountain Ale after a long day at Stowe, or Long Trails on the apartment stoop after a serious discussion on DFW--shoot, maybe it was the time I made aspirin in Chem lab at UVM, who knows, but the awakening was probably after the first game launch. About six of us went to the area brew on premise, cracked open the bulky binder of recipes, and collectively brewed a beer in honor of the achievement.Read More
We finally signed a lease!
8 months and several false starts later, we now have an empty space in which to build our brewery and tasting room.
Let the story begin...Read More