Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Getting close

We have been quite busy with our buildout. Our underground plumbing was a very tough hurdle for us to conquer. The existing plumbing in the building was not up to current California Building Code. The main sewer line that runs underground is a 3" pipe and it has a fall (slope) of 1/8" per foot. Current code requires any 3" pipe to fall 1/4" per foot and any 4" pipe could fall at 1/8" per foot.

Our inspector had asked us to follow the existing 3" pipe to the furthest point to where we would tie into it. There was a 4" pipe coming off the bathrooms that appeared to connect with the 3" pipe that we were following. We dug up a portion of the parking lot to where we believed the pipe connection would take place, but found that both the 4" and 3" pipes ran parallel further down the parking lot. We had told the inspector that we were not about to chase the 3" line further beyond where we needed to dig. He agreed to "grandfather" the existing 3" pipe (with the 1/8" per foot fall), but required us to install any connecting plumbing to current code. This made things difficult because the existing pluming line was not as deep underground as we needed to conform to our approved plans. We had to make a few adjustments that took more time and money than we first had planned. After over a week of some more floor demo, dirt moving and additional plumbing supply purchases we finally passed our inspection to allow us to pour concrete. This past Saturday we had a morning schedule of 2 concrete trucks carrying a total of 15 yards of concrete and 2 concrete finishers to get the brewery solid again (at least with regard to the floor). A 12" reinforced slab was poured just outside of our building. This slab will support our grain silo, boiler and glycol chiller. The concrete that was poured inside was to set our plumbing of 3 separate trench drain assemblies, 2 floor sinks, 1 mop sink and the venting that is required to all drains. We finally were able to take a day off (the first since returning from GABF) on Sunday, except for getting materials purchased and ready for a Monday crew of drywall tapers.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Let the work commence

So we had to pick the hottest week of the year to begin/continue our buildout. This week we are concentrating on making our tasting room a rated room. Basically, since our tasting room is a separate room from our brewery, the room needs to have a one hour fire rating from any production area (brewery). One of the items that needs to happen to achieve this rating is that we need to install 5/8" drywall 4 feet away from the room on the ceiling as seen in the picture.
Our plumbing needs is the first priority for our buildout because the entire brewery is cut up and waiting for concrete to be poured so we can be mobile again in the building. The biggest obstacle that we are encountering is that of our plumbing/waste line. The existing cast iron drain line is 3" with a 1/8" per foot fall (slope). A 4" drain pipe can fall at 1/8" per foot. We have been instructed that any new plumbing installed will have to meet code which would mean that if we are to install 3" pipe, we would have to have a fall of 1/4" per foot. This is virtually impossible to achieve unless we were cut up the entire parking lot and follow the 3" pipe until it connect to a 4" pipe. We have a meeting with inspectors in the morning to see if there is some feasible solution to this.
We are still on track to have our tasting room open by the end of October. Our plans are to get the tasting room open, continue to contract brew our beers at Dale Bros Brewery in Upland while we work on getting our production brewery in operation, which we hope will be by the end of this year.
We keep our fingers crossed that there will not be too many obstacles along the way.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Health Department

We finally received Health Department this past Thursday. We tried to post this sooner, but were quite busy with all of the brew events at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.
This is/was the last step in getting our permits from the city of Anaheim to begin/continue our buildout. The approved plans will be picked up this week from the health department and delivered to the city so that they can issue a permit for buildout.
We met with the city inspectors a week ago for a pre-construction discussion at the brewery. The information that they presented will help with various stages of the buildout inspections and should save us some time.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Health Department

We know, those are two words that scare a lot of business owners. (including us)
It is much more difficult to get through the health department in Orange County than it is in San Diego County.

We are getting very close to have this approval. We just had to clean up the finish schedule...flooring, walls, base cove, ceiling etc., figure a way to enclose our roll up door and explain our operation (mainly the tasting room). Let's just cross our fingers and hope that this latest design along with our next finish schedule submittal will work.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


We are getting our approved permit for the buildout by the city today at noon! Prior to issuance, we still need to submit an approved health dept permit which we should have within a week. The requests from the health department aren't too far off and can be taken care of during a scheduled meeting that we have just after the holiday weekend.
This has been a trying process, but now can finally get cracking on getting the brewery and tasting room together.
We have had many inquiries with regard to our tasting room opening, and have remained fairly confident that it should be ready within 30 days after we obtain our building permit.
We will do a much better job posting to this blog as we progress thru our buildout.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Almost there

Our thoughts of having our tasting room opened for the All-Star Week seems to have vanished. We picked up our plan re-submittal from the city and had full approval from Planning, Structural, Plumbing and Mechanical. We did not receive approval for Electrical and Fire.
The fire corrections aren't too much to correct with most of the corrections for remarks of various approved practices noted on to the plans as well as fire extinguisher locations.
The electrical corrections, however, are much more in depth. We had to obtain Title 24 energy calculations from a certified energy analyst. Power and lighting need to separated on the plans so that they are reflected on individual plan sheets. We included our equipment cut sheets, which includes wiring diagrams, as a separate attachment to the plans. It was noted that the wiring schematics need to be incorporated onto the plans. A single line wiring diagram will be needed for utility service and panels feeding our entire suite, it needs to include voltage, ampere rating, circuiting, phasing, AIC information, total electrical load etc. Needless to say these items consume both time and money. This will all need to have an electrical engineer or contractor certified stamp onto the plans.
We are now hoping to get the plan corrections back to the city within the next week or two, with hopes that we will not have any more corrections returned to us. If this happens in a timely manner, we can begin to pull permits to get construction of our brewery and tasting room in motion. For those who have been lucky enough to taste our product (which we are currently brewing on Dale Bros Brewing's system), thank you for your support and patience. With any luck, we can have the brewery up and running by mid-August...Cheers

Sunday, June 20, 2010


After some delays, we finally re-submitted our plans to the city this past Thursday. We still need to submit/attach a few needed items, but wanted to get them back into the system to get things rolling again. This set of plans was over twice as heavy as the previous set. Let's keep our fingers crossed for a quick approval.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Brew Event

We will be showcasing our brews at an upcoming brew event at Cabo Taco Baja Grill in La Mirada on the 26th of June from 6-11pm.

The lineup of brews for the event looks awesome, so make sure to get your tickets before they sell out.

Check out the link:


We have received out revised plans from the architect. Next it is on to deliver the revisions to both the City and to the Health Department. Our demo and buildout has been on hold until we get approval/direction from the city. We will keep you further posted on the progress of these plans.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Our first restaurant beer tasting

We met with the folks at Monkey House Cafe in Huntington Beach today to discuss our upcoming beer tasting night. The event will take place Wednesday, May 26th. We have had many people inquire about how and where to get our brews. This is a great opportunity to sample our brews and purchase some bottles to take with you. Once we receive more info on the event, we will be sure to post the info.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Linoleum Tiles

Ok, just a quick note regarding linoleum tiles. They are very difficult to remove from a concrete floor. Spent about 6 hours yesterday chipping, heating and scraping the tiles to get to the concrete floor. After fatigued arms and blisters on both hands, they are all almost up. The next step will be to clean the glue off of the floor (most likely an acid wash) then seal the floor in the area of the cold storage set up.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Demo day

GeoTagged, [N33.64333, E117.91672]

We spent a large part of Saturday tearing down walls, drop ceilings, lights, a/c vents and a window to make more room for our brewing operation. We still need to take up the linoleum tiles (which will not be fun). This type of demolition is not all that fun and doesn't really look all that great because of the pile of drywall, insulation, scrap metal and other items that need to be disposed of. Next up for demolition are the warehouse flooring (for our trench drain installation) and warehouse bathrooms. We need to get the bathrooms up to ADA compliance.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Gettin Dirty

Yesterday we began demolition of a portion of the warehouse to make room for our cold storage and expanded brewing area. We only had a chance to knock down one wall (and all of the suspended ceiling, lighting and A/C ducts), and still have 3 more wall remaining. Our new design moves the cold storage back a bit to account for our tasting room. This design and move requires that we get rid of our "old" brewery office. We will still maintain plenty of office space in the remainder of the building, which is where we will move the brewery office. We are going to need to install a two hour rated wall between the brewery and offices (per building code). This new design will allow for a more feasible and seamless anticipated growth. We will try to post more details as we move along.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Moving along

We finally have a working forklift! When we purchased our system a forklift was included but was inoperable. We had a forklift repair company inspect it for repair. We then decided that the cost to repair it compared to the price of a used electric forklift (previously used by IKEA) was not worth the money, time or future headaches that it would present. We got a very good deal on the electric forklift and are quite happy with it. Upon delivery of the lift, the delivery company was unloading it off of the flatbed when the cable snapped and released the forklift rapidly off of the trailer. It kept going until it hit then jumped a curb. This was quite exciting for our new neighbors as there were a few folks taking pictures and telling us that they would be posting this experience on their personal blog. The forklift was then taken back to the shop to be reinspected. They found no damage and like "another day at the brewery story" we finally have something to help with the heavy lifting.

Our architect spent a few hours detailing our brewery and the building this past Saturday. While he was here we had to go up on the roof to check out how everything looked on top. WE took a couple of pictures to show how close we are to both the Honda Center and Angels Stadium. It is pretty cool to see these venues from this vantage point. We are set to meet with the city again this week to discuss our progress and plans. It looks like we will have another re-design which will produce a new look. It's amazing what one learns while going through a process of opening a brewery in Orange County. We are quite excited to be moving along with our architect and the professionalism he brings to the design. With any luck we will be able to start knocking this place into shape soon.

Friday, March 12, 2010

We have purchased our cold storage and a table bottler today. Both are shipping from back east, so we should be seeing them at the brewery sometime very soon.
We received a quote for the missing process piping which wasn't as bad as expected. The quote that we received was for only material for the process piping. We have contacted a local clean welder and are quite comfortable with the work that they will be providing.
Gil at JT Schmid's has been a great help in our initial process of rebuilding our system. He brews on a 15bbl Liquid Assets system and has allowed us to visit his location often to take pictures and videos of his system. I can only imagine how much more difficult the re-assemble process would be if we didn't have his system to explore. I am sure that we will be in his brewery again soon.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

ABC License Approval

Wow, finally after many phone call and meetings, we finally have our active ABC license. We acquired two license types: type 23: small beer manufacture, and type 17: beer and wine wholesaler. We decided to acquire the type 17 because of many discussions with various brewpubs (which have a type 75 license) that want to try to get their brews outside of their establishments. The type 23 license is needed to brew and sell the beer that you brew. What a great way to start the day today!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Health Department meeting

Today we met with the Health Department. The meeting went better than expected. It was basically a consultation meeting with only a few changes that needed to be implemented onto our plans and into the brewery. I guess the phrase of the meeting was "washable surfaces". Our base coving will have to change from the standard rubber cove to a topset ceramic cove throughout the tasting room, mill room and janitor closet. In our brewhouse area, the Dur-a-Flex flooring, which will be installed by our friends at Lennova, will take care of all the necessary coving in the area. The health department initially wanted us to enclose our brewhouse area completely, with wall that extended to the ceiling (or drop down ceiling). This would have been a huge investment. We settled on maintaining our current 10 foot wall but we will have to have a washable surface adhered to the ceiling above the brewhouse area. We will be installing tile floors and ceramic tile coving in the restrooms and our storage/supply room. We will also have to replace the ceiling tiles in the storage/supply room to washable ceiling tiles. We are headed to San Diego tomorrow so that our Architect can look at all of the comments that the city has made on our initial submitted plans. With any luck we can have the revised plans back to the city by the week's end so we can get this construction going.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


We picked up a silo from Mark at Craftsman Brewing Company yesterday. We decided that we could rent a Budget truck for the pickup and delivery of the silo. When we arrived (the truck rental was in the same storage yard as the silo...great luck) at the rental yard, the only 0ne-way truck they had available was a 16' truck. We thought this would work if we would just not close the rollup door and have a portion of the silo hanging out the back. Though this sounded kind of scary, we decided to try it. After getting all of the paperwork signed and keys to the truck, we did a quick measurement of the box and realized that the silo would not fit. Thankfully the guy at the rental company found a 24' truck available in Glendale. He called to have it delivered, which took an hour, then off to loading the silo we went. The 24' foot truck worked perfectly for the load and delivery of our new (well actually used) silo.
We had talked to Mark who gave us some history on the silo. It had originally belonged to Vinnie Cilurzo when he was running operations in Temecula with Bling Pig Brewery, which to us is pretty cool, not only for nostalgia reasons, but because of the awesome brews that Vinnie and his group puts out.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Build-Out Plans

We submitted our plans to the city last Thursday. The timeline for the plans to be back in our possession is 10 days from submittal. We are hoping that there is not going to be too many changes needed to the plans. Since this is a new venture into the city, things could get tricky. The many changes and details that were made to the plans prior to submittal should help with the process. The timing of the build-out plans, Health Department plans and ABC license seems to be on a collision course. They should all be approved within two weeks of each other. It is funny that even though I read various blogs and talked to many brewers, the timeline for the opening seems to be what everybody mentioned. "Take your projected opening date and add five to six months to that". Our initial opening date was sometime in September 2009. It looks like we are in-line to open in the month of March 2010. With much luck, it will be worth the wait.

ABC paperwork

OK, I believe that the Alcohol Beverage Control finally has all of our paperwork in order. The next step is for the paperwork to be reviewed by a supervising agent. If the paperwork is still in order after that step then it is sent up to Sacramento for one last review and approval of the license...two in our case. Even though the process was tedious and lengthy, the agent that we worked with was quite pleasant and insightful. She put up with all of our questions (which were many), responded quickly to our inquiries and kept the communication lanes open throughout. We can only hope that all of the paperwork will pass seamlessly through the next step.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

We put the final touches on our build-out plans this morning then took them for reproduction copies, dropped 3 sets off to our engineer with hopes that we can get them stamped soon. With any luck we will be able to get the plans to the city by the end of the week. In the meantime, we will be heading to the Health Department Wednesday morning to submit 3 copies for their assessment and hopeful approval. Spent all night arranging cut sheets for all of the equipment that will be installed and or placed into the brewery. The Health Department wanted a list, model and description of the items, so we thought we would go a bit further and give them some more paperwork to look at.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Brewer's Notice

We received our Brewer's Notice yesterday! It was not as painful as we thought it would be. We have heard the stories of needing to have your brewing system up and in place so that the TTB could come out and inspect it prior to receiving the Notice. During the TTB interview, I mentioned that I thought that they would have to inspect, like I had previously heard. The woman stated that they no longer operate like that. The interview was basically just a reiteration of what we had filled out on the packet, it lasted about 30 minutes. We then discussed our layout, which was not the current layout we had designed. I immediately emailed her the current layout without the partitioned walls. We had proposed only a curb around the brewing area, much like Patrick has at The Bruery. She then stated that they are requiring new breweries to partition the operation from the public. With that discussion along with a somewhat similar discussion with the Health Department, we decided to do away with the curb and construct a 10' wall with the top 6' being of a plexiglass material so the public can still see into the brewing area.

Next up approval and receipt of our ABC license, which we hope happens soon!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Today was spent between the Health Department and re-designing our plans. As we have already decided to (plexiglass) wall the production area, there is always more things that the HD would like to see. We noted that we are planning this "walling" of the brew area, which is something we have not seen much of in the Southern California area. They want to see our walls extend up to the ceiling of the warehouse. We have it designed to be a ten foot wall with the upper six feet being designated as a plexiglass material for viewing. There truly wasn't too much that needed changed regarding our last proposed layout, which was quite nice.
We will need to install an air curtain over one of our roll-up doors, while not being able to utilize the other, unless we install an air curtain for that one as well. Our standard door will only need to have a closing arm installed which would alleviate the need for it to have an air curtain as well. I asked if we could have all of the doors open at the "off brewing" times since we will not be in production at those times. I was told that we could not as we would be serving the public. I then mentioned that I don't understand how Costco can get away with serving food with no air curtains operating on any of their rollup doors. I was told that they have walls for their food preparation areas (which is true). I then stated that it was not the prep areas that I was concerned about. I mentioned that I am more concerned about the nifty little sample carts that are scattered throughout the warehouse, which I am sure that all of us Costco members enjoy...some more than others. The response I received was a chuckle with no explanation of how Costco can do that or how they can get away with it. I hope that I didn't stop the cart service as I enjoy them while shopping there. Anyway, I feel that the conversations went quite well and am confident that we can get through what we are proposing fairly quick.