Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tough Holidays Schedule

The month of December began with a case of strep throat that knocked me out for almost 8 days (from the 10th til the 18th). As I finally got back on my feet, the holiday season began to kick in full force, making arrangement of meetings and discussions tough.
I contacted the TTB and the Health Department on the 18th, with discussions of both agencies stating that we needed to separate the production area from the tasting area.
So...onto our 7th re-layout of the brewery.
We have decided to rid the brewery of the curbing and install a half solid, half plexiglass enclosure for the brewhouse/fermenter area. This will allow us to easily incorporate the keg washing, bottling and other areas of the production in a controlled area. In the beginning we were quite reluctant to this change, but as we discussed it and arranged the tanks in the area and design that was proposed, we began to not only accept, but embraced this "new" design.
Back to the holiday schedule...we have our plans ready to be stamped by our engineer, but we are on hold until after the first of the year (actually the 4th), as our engineer's office is closed until that time. We have sent initial plans to both the Health Department and the TTB. We have left follow up messages and are still awaiting a response from both. This makes me think that both agencies are on hold until after the first of the year as well. So, with any luck, we will be able to get all plans stamped submitted and approved within the first two weeks of the new year.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


We received a very favorable quote from a Civil Engineer. He stated that he should have the engineering plans ready by this Friday. This would be great, as would then be able to submit our plans to both the city and health department early next week. The plans include securing the fermenter tanks to the floor, foundation plans to support a boiler and it's vent stack, glycol chiller and a grain silo. It will also include anchoring the posts for the swing gate that will be attached to the above mentioned foundation. A portion of the plan accounts for the walk-in cooler that we are going to install. It has dimensions of 27'L X 16'W X 12'H. The city requires any structure over ten feet high to have an engineering stamp on it. I guess this is because they don't want the walk-in to cave in on itself? With our relocation of the walk-in cooler, we will be able to secure to a foundation wall which will be nice.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Difference of two Counties

We attended Green Flash's 7th Anniversary a couple of weeks ago and took a tour in the brewery. It is funny how different the counties are between San Diego and Orange. We noticed that not one of their tanks was securely bolted to the floor.

In our case, this is something that has been directed, by the city, to make sure we have an engineer. We have heard that this had been brought about by the Northridge earthquake in 1994. This is just another step that we have to complete before our plans can be approved.

We want to send a big thanks to Patrick at The Bruery for sharing some of his information regarding his process with engineering.

We decided to flip-flop our cold storage so that it opens up our tasting room a bit and makes the traffic flow to the bathrooms with more ease and keep brewing operations contained away from the public during any tasting hours. We will be utilizing one of our roll-up doors as the main entrance and exit to the brewery. We have to get approval from our landlord to take 3 of the existing parking spaces and convert them to 2 handicap spaces. Our retail and supply shop will be relocated to where the brewery office was with the office moving to the old home of the R&S shop.

Tracy recently finished brewing our second contract brew "Hopgasm IPA", it should be ready by very early December. All things considered, at least this doesn't feel like the nightmare that Eagle Rock Brewery had to go thru to get their doors open.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Permits and Licensing

Wow, this part is taking a lot longer to get rolling. Not only do the permits need to be pulled, but the need for an engineering stamp is needed as well. Though everyone at the city has been great so far, the anticipation to get started is killing us.

Tracy just brewed an IPA at Dale Brothers Brewery yesterday, which should be ready in the very early part of December. Our ABC license is in process, fingerprinting has been performed and with any luck, we will have both our 23 and 17 license in hand in a decent timeframe.

We are heading to Green Flash tomorrow for their anniversary celebration, cannot wait to taste some of the stuff we haven't had in a while.

Because of the used system that we purchased, there are a lot of pieces missing. Every stainless footing (except for 1) for the tanks and over 1/2 of the process piping is missing. Gaskets, doors, arms etc are all missing as well. These are items that will take time to either order or have custom made.

Who said this would be easy?

Friday, October 30, 2009

Lee Chase

Had a great lunch meeting with Lee Chase today. What a wealth of knowledge this guy has. He gave us input, among other things, regarding our tasting area and cold storage. It makes sense for what he proposed of our operation. We are looking forward to his visit to our brewery and to give us further insight and direction.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Conditional Use Permit

WOO HOO!!!! We received approval for our conditional use permit from the Anaheim Planning Commission. Our tasting room, homebrew supply shop and special events are all a go! As nerve racking that processes like this could be, the city made it quite pleasant. Of course the outcome of the CUP is great.

After the hearing we had a great talk with Commissioner Todd Ament and immediately felt the welcome that we had hoped we would with the city.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pre installed layout

We spent some time arranging, and then re-arranging our system layout. Tracy, our brewer, had great input to determine how and where to set it. We decided that our fermenters would be best served closest to our tasting area. This would allow any hot piping from the Mash and Kettle to be located on the opposite side of any public foot traffic. After arranging it this way, we realized that our glycol lines, boiler lines, and auger line would have a much shorter run, saving us some time and money. Our walk-in cooler will have the condenser located and supported directly above the cooler. Our high ceiling will allow for this to happen. This will also save us some time and money. Of course this is far from what our floor will look like after construction. We will follow a similar path in what The Bruery constructed, and put a curbed, urethane sealed floor for the brewing area.

We stopped by The Bruery on Tuesday and were amazed on their rapid growth. Congratulations to Patrick and the crew on their continued success.

ABC Posting

Our ABC Posting went up on Monday. We need to have this notice posted for 31 days. Our CUP hearing is this coming Monday and from what we hear, there has been no opposition to our proposed use which is supposed to be a good thing.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Working in plans for build-outs, should have a finalized set ready by early next week so we can submit to the City and Health Department.

Let's go Angels

Oktoberfest Ladera Ranch

Tasted a couple of future accounts with our Alpha Red...great reception for the beer. Heading out to set up a booth at the Ladera Ranch Oktoberfest today. The event had around 3,500 ppl there last year so, so exposure should be great!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Well, thats a word that was needed today. Went to the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and didn't have enough documents notarized. At least the girl that helped was extremely nice. Our next appointment is on the 19th. We will for sure have ALL paperwork in order to begin our application for our Type 23 license. We will also be acquiring a Type 17 license (Beer and Wine Wholesaler).

Submitting plans to the City of Anaheim tomorrow for the build-out of our curbing and drainage for our brewhouse/fermenter area.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fermenters Arrived!!!

Our fermenters arrived this past Tuesday. We got 3-15bbl and 2-30bbl Liquid Assets Fermenters delivered after our trip back from the GABF. We also got our boiler, forklift and some more miscellaneous parts that we hadn't received yet. NOW it is time to get this place built out and ready for brewing. Can't wait to get this place up and running. We have our meeting with the ABC this Tuesday and am waiting for the initial contact call from the TTB (should be this week). Early January 2010 is our opening goal. Still lots of work ahead of us.
Karlfest was this Saturday, set up for Tustin Brewing Company and helped the great guys from TBC represent at the event. Poured their Gold Medal Winning Golden Spike Light Ale and Red Hill Red. Great event...the Double Barrel IPA from KS was great and one that we drank lots of. We truly believe that Orange County is ready to blow up in the Microbrew scene, so many talented brewers/brewpubs and breweries in our not-so-known beer county.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Gonna have to wait

Well, the rest of our system is set to be delivered to our Brewery in Anaheim but it is just going to have to wait until Monday when we return. We will all be in Denver, Colorado for the Great American Beer Festival!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bump in the Road

Just heard today that there is a couple day delay for the delivery of our Fermenters, Silo and Boiler. The landlord at the restaurant that houses the Silo and Boiler is giving the system seller a hard time. Need to get this straightened out soon as the Fermenters are already loaded and ready to be shipped.
Met with Aaron from Bootlegger's today, always great to see him. He is always so helpful with information and pretty much just a really cool guy. He showed my his new warehouse that they just acquired, it is going to open up a lot of stuff for Bootlegger's.
GABF next week!!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Tanks are on the Way

It's been a hectic week. Met with the city to get our business plan going. We have approval for the brewery, but have to wait until Conditional Use Permit approval to be able to begin our Tasting Hours. Basically you can operate a brewery without a CUP if all you are going to do is brew beer on premise and ship (or deliver) it to the end customer. It is when you want to let the public into your building and produce on-site sales that you must adhere to what the city permits. Our comment letter from the city regarding our CUP application is set to be in our hands on the 15th of this month.
So we have a Business License for the City of Anaheim, but now are awaiting our TTB inspection, as well as, ABC approval for the type 23 Small Beer Manufacture License.
We transferred utilities this week (lots of deposit...not cheap). Met with our General Contractor to further discuss the layout of the brewery. Our system is beginning to ship tomorrow. The picture above shows our Mash Tun, Brew Kettle, 4-15bbl Bright Tanks, Mill and 12oz Bottling line. The rest of the package will be in Anaheim either Friday or Saturday. We are excited to finally see the system leave a warehouse in Roseville and head it's way down to it's new home very close the Angel's Stadium and the Honda Center.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Meeting with the Planners

Had a great meeting with the Planning Department in Anaheim yesterday. Great direction and guidance. We will be reviewing our comment letter, due to get to us on the 15th. First thing to take care of in the building is our floor drains and curb installation for the brew area (much like Patrick did at the Bruery). Contain the water!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Got It!!!

Met with the landlords and our leasing agent today. Picked up the keys and our welcome packet. Spent almost 3 hours after that going over dimensions and layout of the brewery. Lots of work ahead of us, need to get the brew system d0wn and into the building soon. Went to lunch at JT Schmids to see if Gil was there...typical brewer, he was gone by the time we got there at 1:00pm haha. Had a great lunch with Steve and Gary Curtiss (our General Contractor). Later on we settled on a logo design while at Peet's at the District.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Another great Brewery coming to OC

A little history of how this whole thing started.
Noble Ale Works is the brainchild of Steve Miles and Jerry Kolbly.
I (Jerry) use to run the Newport Beach Brewing Company for many years and had an outstanding brewmaster "Kirk Roberts" there with me. We always felt that Kirk's beers were good enough to stand up to the growing market of craft beers. Our type 75 license didn't allow us to produce and distribute the way a type 23 license does.
A few years back NBBC went through a laborious legal issue with the city of Newport Beach (too much to talk about on this blog but if your real interested in it I can talk about it over a beer). But the good thing that happened is that I hired one of the brightest and most fair attorneys to assist with the NB issue...Steve Miles. Not only is he a great attorney, his passion for some of the finer things in life is sometimes staggering. He has homebrewed some great beers, has a collection of fine wine of over 500 bottles and added on to his house to include a homebrew area.
OK back to NAW birth...So, along with my partner (the actual brains in the group), Steve, we decided to explore which avenue we could take to get Kirk's beers out into the world. The more we thought about it, the more we thought about breaking away from the (very) expensive real estate of Newport Beach and look at commercial properties which would welcome a brewery. We started casually looking at various areas in and around Orange County back in December 2008...Silverado Canyon, Santa Ana, Inland Empire, San Juan Capistrano, Orange, Fullerton. As time went on Kirk became uneasy with the idea of our goal. He decided to stay at NBBC to continue to make his awesome brews at the brewpub there. We knew we had to find another brewer and heard that Tracy Simmons had just left Omaha Jack's in Rancho Cucamonga. I have always liked Tracy's brews and his detail, organization and contacts in the industry are amazing.
In March of this year (2009) we had a meeting with the Mayor of Anaheim, Curt Pringle (who happens to be one hell of a guy). He asked us if we had time to cruise around and check out some properties with him. He proceeded to drive us around the city for over 2 hours, looking at various locations. He took us to the Platinum Triangle area and into the Stadium Plaza Business Park. We liked what he had seen around the area so Mayor Pringle got us in touch with CBRE who listened to what we needed and showed us our (now) new home...1621 S. Sinclair St. Ste B. The process of obtaining the lease was a chore in itself but we feel that it is well worth it. It took us from the beginning of April until the end of August to get the keys to the building.
While we were looking at buildings and dealing with the lease, we had heard that Sacramento Brewing Company was selling a system. We headed up to Sacramento in late February to check it out.
We liked what we saw, 15bbl Liquid Assets brewhouse, 3-15bbl fermenters, 2-30bbl fermenters, 6-15bbl single wall brite tanks (we'll keep those in our walk-in), a 12 oz bottling line, 16K pound silo, boiler, glycol chiller, DE filter. It also had 2-60bbl fermenters in the initial sale but Rogue bought those, so the price came down. After getting George a deposit check, he was so kind to hold the system in storage (which it already was) until we could get our building. The system is set to ship down this coming week (the 1st of September).
We are now in the TTB, ABC, City of Anaheim CUP, BOE, OCHA etc lots of letters.
Anyways it has been lots of work but so exciting. Our building and location are unbelievable (we can walk to Anaheim Stadium...go Angels).
Stay tuned for more posts here, on our twitter page: twitter/noblebrew, our facebook page, and our website (well soon there).