Opening a brewery
The process of opening a brewery, with a tap room, is a long one. Why aren't there more Brewery/Taprooms? It's the limiting factor of spaces available and our (UK) planning systems don't really account for produce, vend and consume on one site. We colour ourselves fortunate and lucky to have found a space, a sympathetic and keen landlord, however I remember hearing from industry veterans, “think how long it will take, then double it”, that's not wrong when statutory bodies get involved. Then importance of having the skills to be able to BUILD something, is probably more important than any. I am very very lucky to have people around me with more I am the first to admit my limited skills with building materials. Technology, making beer, fine but, puting men to work to make a space safe, appropriate for purpose and practical is an amazing thing to behold. We're getting there!
The space that will hopefully be granted permission to be our tap room, is close to complete - waiting on a couple of deliveries, some more skilled people to connect the dots and make more dust. You can see the progress here, (on the Dover District Planning Portal) and if you've not already done so, we'd love your support! We still have things to do, but, patience something we've had to learn along this road.
When we're open, we're expecting to start with as much beer as we can get on tap, with the gaps filled in on our 12 tap draft system with beers from our friends. Yes, 12 taps, plus 2-4 casks! (Probably at peak hours), branded glassware in on the way too! Nice big wooden benches too!
Getting back into regular blogging updates, is something that's been frustrating to me. Hell, I used to blog all the time. Blame twitter and instagram, just too damn convenient. What we have done for Breakwater.beer is upgrade the site to a new server. For those that don't know, there are servers that host many tiny little sites, on what are little more than PC's in a rack, connected to the web. These can host thousands, all with little or no bandwidth needed. Bandwidth is, and I am sure most reading this are pretty tech savvy, put really badly and simply, like the flow of water down a pipe and how much is consumed. We've moved to a much faster commercial level secure server, because, every time we posted or tweeted a link out, it ate the bandwidth and got me in trouble with our web hosts. You'll also note that the site loads so much faster. That's a good problem to have. And, now we can use larger pretty pictures to show you what's we've been up to!
What's all that got to do with beer? Well, we very much believe the internet has been one of the things that have assisted with the transformation of beer in the last 15 years. Access to knowledge, willingness to share with out prejudice and then the opportunity to share discoveries via sites like Ratebeer and Beer Advocate. I do wonder how breweries, or businesses, without an up to date site, or even capitalising on the tools that Facebook, Google+ and the many other social network/review sites offer, to get their message out. So here we are, new servers - do your worst, internet!
Thanks to the crazy cats at Magic Rock, such is their immense and deserved success, we've 4 of their old FV's! The stress for the guys getting these into the building. I really felt for them. This was a lesson in piss poor planning on my part.
More brewing in Cape Town
Such was the sucess from our first trip down, we've been back to Cape Town, hanging out with our friends at Riot Beer. Marc Fourie, owner and head brewer is an inspirational driven personality, (you can listen to him here, on the legendary Brewing Network), we went out to Mountain Brewing Company, in possibly the most beautiful location to have a brewery we've ever been to:
We brewed a 1.044 on the nail. Pils, carapils and oats. Mashed at 69'c. chinook, summit, yellow sub, Vic secret. Dry hop in due course with Yellow Sub and Vic Secret at 5g/lit. Target FG 1.014z. 17'c in FV with 05.
The Brewing Network
We'll be on the show on the 26th September. For the first time in a few years, we'll be back in the bay area, seeing friends and family - hopefully making some beer.
What about the beer!? Yes, to the beers.
We're getting close to being able to brew. A couple of welds, a bit of fixing on some pipework and a helluvalotta cleaning and we're hot to trot.
here's a sneak preview of one of our beers: Our Dover Pale Ale, DPA.
thanks to everyone for your patience and passion that keeps us smiling and knowing that this is a good idea.
if you have long arms, do do try to get your hands on Aegir Brewing Project, "RUS" Imperial Stout aged in amazing pinot noir barrels. Aegir in Nordhoek, near Cape Town is an international quality brewery, well worth keeping an eye on.