Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Moving Around Big Things

Rachel and I went to San Francisco for the weekend so I could judge the Sam Adams Longshot competition. While we were in the area, we had fun hanging out with Ali and Cooper, good old friends from college, and Matt and Lisa, my brother-in-law and his girlfriend. It was a great weekend that was followed by moving the majority of my brewing equipment from Ukiah / Windsor / Hollister to Orange County.

Starting out at the Mendocino Brewing Co., we had a crane picked up pieces of the platform used at their old brewery in Hopland, CA. We also picked up the grain mill that was used at the original brewery. Then on to Quality Stainless in Windsor, CA, just outside of Santa Rosa. The bulk of the equipment such as the mashtun, boil kettle and whirlpool were located here. After 7 hours of moving equipment around, Rachel and I visited Russian River Brewing Co. for a beer and lunch before our long drive home. I met with Vinnie and Travis, who showed me how they bottle their bottle conditioned beers. I'll be bottled in just about the same way as they do, which they described as being a pain in the ass. I don't doubt it. We got home at 12 AM.

Yesterday morning I arrived at the brewery to receive the equipment. My friends Lyn and Mike and my brother Casey graciously donated their time and skill to unloading the trucks and getting everything into the brewery. I am indebted to these guys for their help. Things went fairly smoothly and we were finished by 2:30.

Various photos of the weekend:

Matt, Lisa, Rachel and I at a Burmese restaurant in SF.

The tasting room at Stryker Winery in Alexander Valley.

Mendocino Brewing Co.'s old brewery location. My equipment used to live there.

The "oh shit" look waiting for the crane to arrive in Ukiah.

Looking at the rusty platform I'm supposed to put back together.

Loading the boil kettle.

The truck is ready to go.

Unloading the vessels at The Bruery.

Celebrating the end of a tough day.


Richard said...

Recognized that picture of Stryker right away. I was just up there in April. A nicely designed building. I also really enjoyed Sausal Winery just down the road from Stryker. Lots of great old vine zins to be had.

Looks like you have a pretty good sized space from the pictures. Should leave room for growth! Seems getting your type 23 license was fairly easy. I'm sure it took a bit of research and time to get all the data needed, but no holy inquisition from the ABC eh? Seems tougher to get a liquor store or bar license.

Can't wait to visit the tasting room!

Patrick Rue said...

We were just passing through Alexander Valley, wish we could have checked it out a bit more. Stryker has a nice facility and a great view. I was particularly interested in the Disney paper Dixie cups they were using as bungs for their barrels. Apparently it allows a bit more oxygen permeability. We were in the area checking out the different tasting rooms, trying to gain inspiration for particular design elements we could use.

The really difficult license to get is the Type 47 and 48 (bars and restaurants serving distilled spirits) as most areas have a quota that is set to the population of the area. Most of the places that obtain this license buy it from another establishment and transfer it to their new establishment.

Any license from the ABC isn't too easy or quick to obtain, so I'm just crossing my fingers all of the paperwork is correct and I'm complying with all of the rules.

Anonymous said...

Just to put things into reality, I am the forklift dude in the Orange safety belt who was called upon to move all of the initial brewing equipment into the building now known as: The Bruery.
This happened on a Tuesday, June 5th 2007.
That's me, Lyn Davidson.
I've not been anything but the biggest supporter of Patrick and commend his leap from homebrewer to big time craft brewer!