YES, it’s been going on ages hasn’t it? But that’s what happens when you have a full time job and a budget just slightly smaller than a lunch on expenses for your average MP. But here’s what’s happened.
For those in the know, it’s the building next door to Sandstone Brewery. I’m nothing but a little cheeky. This had the advantages that I already know the landlord and the services and it’s only ten minutes from the house. And the brewery kit was in storage in a shipping container on the same site. With a bit of gentle persuasion (or watching me struggle pathetically with the communal pallet truck) the storage site owner jumped into action with the forklift (Cheers Richard).
A visiting wagon driver was bribed with beer to pick up the extremely heavy old milk tank from my garage and help me lug it inside. This is the same tank that almost broke the Blueball Brewery van when we picked it up from a farm in deepest Shropshire (Cheers Alex).
Once safely in we then had to demolish the existing office and prepare the unit for a brewery. First in was the most important thing – the floor drain. Four days of backbreaking work on extremely old and thick concrete. Thank Deus for power tools.
Next up was to build a cold room. Despite arguments on the contrary from fellow brewers I won’t name that consider a coldroom a novelty and not a necessity; experience has taught me differently.
Then the most expensive outlay of them all – CASKS.
The colours even match the unit.
We came across the talented Matt Jeffs who helped us out with our logo, branding and pumpclips. If you need anything doing then he comes highly recommended. He can put up with even the most demanding customer (that’ll be James then). You can find him at www.nimbws.co.uk.
Then all the fun of converting tanks, painting, installing electrics, plumbing and a million other little jobs started. Here’s just some of the scrap I got from cutting the rusty skins from the hot liquor tank. A tidy little earner at the scrap yard. Just waiting for someone to come and weld a panel into what remains of that thing and we’re good to go.
All being well, the Royal Mail not going on strike, the EHO officer being happy, hundreds of small items turning up, ingredients arriving and probably a thousand things I’ve forgotten we’re looking at a first brewday of May 4th. Yes, less than a month. It’s been a long time coming.
The first brew will be Dusk, closely followed by New Dawn. Both should be on sale early June. I’ll be sure to let you know where to find it. And watch out for the Bananavan!