Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Rush

Since signing a lease, I'm now in a rush to get everything put together so I can get open before I have to start paying rent. Here's what I'm in the process of doing:

- Putting together plans for the contractor, as well as for city, health department, and fire department approval (apparently I can submit over the counter, which is a huge time saver)
- Getting a city business license (contingent on other approvals such as health, fire, water district, air district, sanitation district)
- ABC approval (I have an appointment next Thursday to submit the application, trying to get one sooner)
- TTB approval
- Ordering new equipment (brite beer tank, glycol cooler, keg washer, Gamajet cleaning system)
- Retrieving equipment already purchased (brewhouse, fermenters, platform, mill, spent grain dispense system)
- Scheduling the contractor to cut do the tenant improvement work
- Liability insurance
- Getting switched over to my wife's employers health insurance

I'm sure there's stuff I'm forgetting, but there's so much that needs to be done. If I don't do it now, it'll delay me later, so it's somewhat of a stressful time. I'm relieved to have a place, but now my focus is on getting open as soon as possible. It's starting to happen, and fast, so this is a good time for me.

The biggest surprise so far was when I called Edison to turn on the power yesterday. They told me I'd need the city to check the panel since the power had been turned off for at least 30 days. So I called the city, and they told me I could turn on the power once I'd received all of my approvals, meaning I had received an occupancy permit through them (after everything has been completed), my ABC license had been issued, and so on. I couldn't believe it. If I had called a few days before, there wouldn't have been any problem, but now all of the work I have to do in the space has to be done by generator. It'll add a bit of expense to the construction, which isn't that big of a deal, I just don't understand the reasoning behind some policies. I'm guessing this isn't the first one I'll be surprised by. Now, if I need a permit for that generator, I'll go apeshit.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Space is leased!

Things are finally happening-- I leased 715 Dunn Way in Placentia today. It's a little over 5,000 s.f., most of which is warehouse space. You can see it from the freeway off the Orangethorpe exit. This afternoon I hired an architect, a contractor, filed the preliminary applications with the city for a business license and a certificate of occupancy, made an appointment with the Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) to file my application, chose a liability insurance company, and did a few other things to get the ball rolling.

If everything goes perfectly, brewing will start in August and we'll start selling in September. Things usually don't go perfectly, so my budget reflects we'll start selling beer in December. I look forward to posting more often to write about what I'm doing. Hopefully it'll be of interest to those who are and/or will be my friends and customers, as well as those who are interested in starting a brewery and are just as clueless as I was/am.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Monday Update on The Bruery (5/21)

There might be an end to my redundant, monotonous posts. Well, an end to redundant posts about leasing space, I can't promise I won't be monotonous. I am negotiating a lease and working out all of the kinks for a space in Placentia, near the 57 / Orangethorpe off-ramp. It's a good location not too far from my house, is a good size, and I'm crossing my fingers that it works out. I've been working on acquiring equipment as well, but I'll post about that some other time.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Monday Update on The Bruery (5/14)

Unfortunately I didn't sign a lease on anything last week, but there are a few places that I'm pursuing in Tustin, Placentia and Anaheim. After a terrible drive out to my Brother's engagement party to Corona on Saturday, I decided I'll spend a bit more on rent so I don't have to be in the Inland Empire, not that I have anything against the IE. The prices are a bit better in the IE, but I'm finding that people in Orange County are looking forward to having a local brewery making unique beers, and I know I'd rather stay put here. I'm a bit less discouraged this week-- things are starting to happen and I have options.

As far as equipment goes, I've committed to some used fermenters to keep costs down. Stainless steel pricing is outrageous right now, so I'll be waiting on ordering new fermenters until I absolutely need them.

If anyone in Orange County is interested attending a homebrew club meeting, BrewCommune is having a meeting at Back Street Brewery in Irvine tomorrow night at 7:00. Hope to see some of you there.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Monday Update on The Bruery (5/7)

I bet you're as tired as I am about me not being able to find a location. I plan to change that this week, as I'll be expanding my reach outside of Orange County to Corona, Chino, Chino Hills, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Long Beach, among a few other areas. My first choice is to stay in Orange County, but I gotta do what I gotta do.

This weekend was the Southern California Homebrewers Festival. About 1500 people attended this mecca of beer festivals, drinking great beers from the 30-odd homebrew clubs serving their goods up. BrewCommune served around 15 beers and ran out of most of what was brought. We also won the first IPA competition with my India Pale Lager. I brought two kegs that were drained in a little over 2 hours. I thought I'd be specializing in Belgian-style beers, but I might have to add this beer to my lineup. Thanks to Lyn for the photos (more are on this BrewCommune thread). As usual, I didn't bring my camera!

This week I'll be focusing on finding a place, then I'll worry about ordering equipment and finalizing my recipes.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Bad News

My broker called yesterday to tell me the Landlord for the Huntington Beach location leased to someone else. It has taught me a lesson that if a landlord is going to string me out for a month, they are probably not going to choose my use. It's about time for a bit of good luck.