The last five weeks have felt as if the brewery blueprints have been bursting off of the paper they’ve resided on for so long and into real life. As each piece of equipment is delivered and moved into it’s place the defining contrast of stainless steel tanks and oak barrels creates sense of purpose for which it has been designed. Each ingredient offering familiar smells in concentrated amounts not experienced brewing on our home-brew scale pilot system. For three years this brewery has been a labor of love, from the time pencil first touched paper on the business plan for a farmhouse brewery, through our zoning approval process, equipment selection, architectural and engineering designs for the building, and of course brewing and tasting! The anticipation built up in that time is so great that it almost serves as a detriment to properly executing the “planning and building” phase. I would do almost anything to bring in the brewhouse more quickly and solidify the transformation from an empty floor inside a barn like building to a full fledged farmhouse brewery.
Due to shipping times, the brewhouse delivery date needed to be determined a month in advance. Making the decision to postpone the actual date when the system is within your reach is not an easy one. However, due to ongoing construction dust from sheet-rocking and completing exterior site work related to installation of our waste water tanks it was a decision that needed to be made. The risk of construction dust finding it’s way into one of the many small valves, gaskets, ports, and pieces that make up the brewery does not nearly justify the need for immediate gratification. My folks taught me well.
In the meantime, we were glad to have had the cold room installed to give us a safe, dry, and insulated space to store our other incoming deliveries. In my last post about Local Malt I discussed the use of Connecticut grown barley that is being malted for us at Valley Malt for use in Field Beer, a seasonal saison focusing on ingredients grown in the area.
After putting so many hours into sourcing local ingredients, seeing grain grown in our state, malted just a few hours away in Hadley, MA make it’s way into the brewery is a tremendously gratifying moment. Knowing that this will be a recurring event, each and every month moving forward increases the drive to increase the acreage devoted to barley in CT, and get closer to meeting all of our demand with local grain!
With the brewhouse delivery being delayed a few weeks, our first order of wine barrels were now scheduled to be delivered on the same day as the brewhouse. One disadvantage to opening a brewery up in Kent Hollow compared to an industrial center, is the lack of parking, driveway space, and loading docks.
Lucky for us, the shipping company delivered the barrels a day early and we were able to avoid unwanted craziness. So into the “cold” room they went!
On Monday December 8 the brewery was shipped from Prospero’s warehouse in Pleasantville, NY to Mims Riggers in Bethlehem, CT for delivery to our farm the next day. Due to the layout of the farm driveway and all, we had to hire a rigging company to bring in and setup the tanks in our building. That night, after sitting in their office going through inventory of what was delivered, which pieces go with what equipment and the placement for each in our brewery, I returned to the farm with only one last thing that could stop delivery in the morning: WEATHER.
To be continued.