What’s Taking So Long – Part III

I’m not early calling it, but, good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise, something BIG is about to happen.

This is shaping up to be the second to last post on the Planning to Brew website. The last post will be redirecting you to our new commercial brewery website. More than two years of planning and all sort of emotional ups and downs will culminate in a closing at the end of this week. That means that in just a couple of weeks we will be breaking ground.

This post is not going to follow the same format as the others in the “What’s Taking so Long” series. Instead of a list of topics, this is just going to be free form. Here we go…

Over the past three or so months, Pearce and I have had a couple of WOW-WE’RE-ALMOST-THERE moments as well as THIS-IS-NOT-GOING-TO-HAPPEN moments.

Long story short… We designed a building based on a well-researched price per square foot. And we were in love with it. The architect and our construction manager both agreed that we should come in within budget. But then Charleston happened. New construction here is currently out of control. Everyone is busy. If it isn’t a $10 million dollar project, then no one has time or energy for it. When our pricing bids came back, we were almost double over budget.

Panic mode.

We started looking at value engineering the building but quickly realized that there was not enough fluff to cut out to actually bring us even close. So we went back to the drawing board. It took several weeks for the architect to do a redesign, for the engineers to add their remarks and for us to send it back out for bids. Our contractor worked hard to bring in bids that made sense from subs that were hungry. It was a terrifying time of uncertainty.

But then the numbers came back in. And they were where we needed them. And the bank seemed happy.

That is when rubber really hit the road. The bank gave us a checklist that we would need to complete before we were able to close. This included things like send them a survey or the property, the construction documents, an environmental and geological survey, and proof that the zoning was correct and that the utility companies were willing to provide service to the property. That was the easy stuff. Then we had to show proof of equity and where it came from. They had to vet our general contractor and we had to show proof that we would be able to get a building permit.

That is just a smattering of the hoops we have been having to jump through. But it looks like we have everything in order and now the bank has scheduled a closing. Our attorney, the bank attorney and the seller’s attorney are now plowing through paperwork to make sure everything is a go.

So now we wait until Thursday.
Fingers crossed.
Prayers and positive thoughts appreciated.

What’s Taking So Long – Part II

In the post What’s Taking So Long – Part I we covered how we went from IDEA to BUSINESS PLAN and PRO FORMA and then also talked about SCOUTING out our LOCATION.

In this post, we are going to cover a few things that haven’t really been talked about at all. Becuase we have not announced our commercial name and introduced you to our branding yet (don’t worry, we will be doing that soon…) some of this will be vague but rest assured it will still make sense. Let’s jump right in.

BUSINESS FILINGS

Just to clarify, the filings that I am talking about right now are business related and are NOT related to our federal and state filings that will give us the ability to produce alcohol. We will discuss those in a later post.

INCORPORATION
Once Pearce and I had come to an “agreement” on our brewery name and the direction of our branding (and to be honest, I am not 100% sure we ARE in agreement but the paperwork is done…) it was time to officially file some paperwork with the Secretary of State and incorporate our new business. Without going into all the whys and why nots, we filed as a Limited Liability Company in the State of South Carolina. Just FYI, this paperwork can be found on Sec of State website, you can fill it out very easily online, print it and send in two copies with your filing fee ($110.) You don’t really need to pay an attorney to do this filing.

TIN – TAX ID NUMBER
Once we got our Articles of Incorporation back from the State we were then able to log into the IRS website and fill out the information needed to get a tax ID number which allowed us to set up commercial banking services and make sure that Uncle Sugar (the gubment) gets paid them tax dollars. It’s way too exciting to cover any further.

TRADEMARK
Protecting our intellectual property will be more and more important as the number of breweries nationwide continues to increase. We did hire an IP attorney to trademark our name and brand. This is a long process and it is NOT cheap. If you are reading this and you are thinking about opening a brewery OR you have one but have not protected your brand, I would suggest you do it post haste. Should you ever have an issue or claim, you will be happy that you spent the money to protect yourself and your business.

ARCHITECTURE

Both Pearce and I had ideas around what we wanted our brewery to look like and luckily, both of our thoughts were in line. We had seen several buildings around town that had the “feel” that we were looking for and it just so happened that the same architect had designed them all. We had PLANNED to talk to several firms and then decide who best fit our needs. When it came down to brass tacks, however, we decided to just go ahead and engage The Middleton Group, because we knew them and we really liked their work. By the way, engaging the architect on a ground up building is when you start spending the real money. The architect takes you through three MAJOR design phases which are Schematic, Design Development and then Construction Documents. The schematic phase is the part where you put pen to paper and design what you want the building to look like. The design phase is where you start laying things out and putting together the preliminary blueprint. The construction documents are what you give to the City Planning dept to get a building permit and to the contractor so that he can build it. There are a lot of other working pieces that happen during this process, like civil and structural engineering, utility connections and then compliance with all building code and zoning code. It is a very lengthy process and you HAVE to make sure it is done right. It is both exhilarating seeing your dreams drawn out, but it is completely overwhelming with how specific and detail oriented it is. The good news is, that as of the writing of this post, we have construction documents in hand.

BREWHOUSE

So now we have a location, we have a design for a building, and we know where the money is going to come from. I guess it’s time we tell you a little about our brewhouse. Pearce and I went back and forth on what size brewhouse we wanted to start with. In the end, it made sense financially to go with as big of a brewhouse as we could afford. According to our numbers, that turned out to be a 15 barrel system. We talked to all of our buddies in the industry and got the name of every brewery equipment manufacturer in the world it seemed. After a good bit of back and forth and after getting quotes and mulling over incentives and upgrades and whatnot, we landed on a company out of Charlotte, NC called Deutsche Beverage Technology. We have seen their equipment and it is top notch. Their customer service is also impeccable. We will have a 5 vessel system that will include a mash/lauter tun, a brew kettle with internal colandria, a separte whirlpool and then a double sized hot liquor and cold liquor tank. We will also start with 120 barrels of fermentation capacity in the form of 4x 15bbl FVs and 2x 30bbl FVs with a 30bbl and a 15bbl brite.

Well I think that brings us to another good stopping point. I could keep writing and writing but I really want to keep each post relevant and interesting. I had hoped to only take 2 posts to cover why everything was taking so long, but I think it deserves one more. Be on the lookout for it next week.

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Until the next time…

Financing the Brewery

I started writing the second part of the What’s Taking So Long series and was about half way through it when I realized that a very important piece of the puzzle needed to be included before I could go any further.

I had said at some point in a previous post that Pearce and I were going to take this thing as far as we could in planning before we decided to spend any money on it. We knew that there would come a point in time where significant amounts of money would need to be spent to move forward and that was the point where we would come together and make the GO OR NO GO decision. That point came when we found the piece of property that fit our needs and we needed to put it under contract and we needed to know how much it was going to cost to build.

We knew how much our equipment was going to cost and we knew how much the land was going to cost. We DID NOT know how much a building was going to cost, and the only way to know was to hire an architect to design the building and that has SIGNIFICANT costs associated with it.

The fear of starting your own business can be overwhelming. Basing your future on projections and what-ifs can be paralyzing. But at some point, you have to jump off the cliff or walk away. And so Pearce and I clasped hands, closed our eyes, counted to three, and jumped…

We committed to fund an account with an amount of money that would cover the deposit on the property as well as the first part of the architectural process. It just so happens that we were able to do this because we both had had cash on hand due to some stock sale and business sale transactions.

The architectural process will be covered in a different post, but what I will tell you here is that between our idea for what we needed, our newly hired architect’s expertise and our newly engaged development coordinator’s experience in the market, we determined the square footage of the building we wanted to build and the base price per square foot of construction of that type of building in our market.

Wow. Now we knew what everything was going to cost. And it was terrifying. But our plan was good and we were committed.

Armed with the knowledge of what everything was going to cost, we started setting up appointments with different banks. I would love to tell you that Pearce and I had so much cash on hand that we were able to finance this entire project out of pocket but that is just silly talk.

There were several banks that were interested in the project. The fact that we were a startup was balanced out by the fact that we would own the land and building that we would be operating out of.  We looked at both conventional commercial programs as well as Small Business Administration (SBA) programs.

After talking to 4 or 5 banks we determined that the SBA route would be the best fit for us. We were given a preliminary commitment letter from one bank and that gave us an idea of how much equity we would need to be able to provide in order to close the loan. In most commercial situations we would need to bring 25% of the cost of the project to the table in order for them to fund us. The SBA “only” required 15%. Only is in quotes because “only” 15% was still a crazy amount of money.

So we had a full idea of project costs, the beginnings of a building design, and commitment from a bank. Now we needed to figure out where the skin in the game was going to come from. We had about 5% of the 15% on hand, but the rest would need to be raised. We had two options. Find an outside source (investor) for the other 10% of equity, or figure out how to get it ourselves.

I know this story is starting to get long so I will try to get to the point. Pearce and I thought that the investor route might be the best way so we started putting out feelers to gauge interest. We had a couple of groups of serious investors that wanted to talk. Pearce will kill me if I don’t mention that we had a friend who put us in touch with two groups of investors in New Jersey. We actually flew up there to meet with them. We found out that one group was considered the “Italian” investor group and the other was considered the “Irish” investor group. So our thoughts basically went to exactly where your thoughts just went. If this didn’t go well, we might end up sleeping with the fishes. In all honesty, both groups were great folks and they were NOT involved in waste management or labor unions. We also had a good handful of people who were willing to contribute small amounts that could then be pooled to make up the cash needed. This was looking like an option until we found out that having passive investors grouped together like that actually created a securities scenario and would require an incredible amount of legal work which meant $$$$. Working with investors started looking like much more of a hassle than it was worth considering what we would end up having to give up.

Then the unimaginable happened. Pearce had some things happen in his life that created an opportunity for him to bring more cash to the table and at the same time, I also had some things fall into place that allowed me to do the same. Call it divine, call it lucky, call it whatever you want. The fact is that we had now had both the opportunity AND the means to complete this project on our own.

So that is where I shall leave you today. In the next installment, we will talk more about the architectural process, sourcing our equipment, and the steps that we are taking to breaking ground.

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What’s Taking So Long – Part I

“Nothing ever happens as quickly as you would like it to…” – Me, just now

I know there are probably a handful of folks who are wondering why updates here are so few and far between. Well, I can tell you that it is because this whole process is a long and complicated one. I think we knew that going into this, but I am not sure we knew to what extent.

This is going to be the first in a series of posts that is going to give a bit more of a detailed outline of what EXACTLY we have been up to for the past year and a half and what exactly it has taken to get to this point. Grab a beer and get comfy.

IDEA

I have covered some of the idea stage in previous posts, but just to recap… Pearce and I wanted to open a brewery that was a good bit closer to the population. Our vision was a place where people could walk, ride their bikes and push their strollers and not have to go too far out of their way. We started batting the idea around during the summer of 2015. In December of that same year, different life circumstances gave us the fortitude to buckle down and push forward. We decided that we would invest time and energy into creating a plan and finding a location. We said that once we got to the point where we needed to spend any significant amount of money, we would step back, evaluate the situation and decide whether or not to move forward.

BUSINESS PLAN

Pearce and I had very different ideas around what could be considered a “business plan.” I was coming out of a stint in the tech-world, where there was no such thing as a “traditional” business plan. I figured that we could create a 10-page slide deck that would tell people who we are, what we are doing, how much money it would take, and how much money we needed to accomplish our goals. Pearce comes from a much more traditional business background. He pushed the idea that our business plan needed to be 200 pages and cover everything under the sun. Long story short is,  we reached a compromise. Pearce found someone online, in a market very similar to ours, who had written out a 100-page business plan as well as a pro-forma workbook and was willing to share it (for a price) with us. We combed over the plan and the financials and then decided to use it as a base for writing our own plan. We got connected with an online software called Live Plan, which is a tool for helping write and organize a business plan, initial budget, and pro-forma. I took cues from the purchased plan we had and wrote out a very lean plan that ended up being more like an executive summary. Pearce took my plan and then delved in and added the detail. It took several weeks just to get the first draft together and we had to make a lot of assumptions about the market. It took a couple of months to get it to where we felt good enough to present it to a bank, potential investors, and/or anyone else who might want a peek. All in, it turned out to be about 95 pages and covered every imaginable topic there is.

PRO FORMA

This was probably the hardest part of the initial planning stage. It is pretty easy to talk about what you want your brewery to be and how you want it to look and what type of beer you will serve.  It is something entirely different trying to figure out whether or not all of those ideas equate to making money. Pearce and I spent hours and days and weeks and months going over all aspects of our revenue model, including how much beer we could make, how much beer we could sell out of the tap room, and how much beer we would then send into local and eventually regional distribution. These numbers changed and shifted and adjusted several times before we had something that we thought made sense. And then we changed and shifted and adjusted it again. We even hired an accounting major intern from Wofford to help us prepare our workbook and crunch our numbers.  Then we ended up meeting with our CPA who promptly looked at our 10 tab excel workbook and told us that while this was all great info, it was not the best way to go about it. He took all the hours and hours of work that we had amassed and ended up spending several hours himself adjusting and shifting and changing it. And still…it is all just a big guess. But I will tell you that it is a very calculated guess. We established a very tight budget with very conservative sales and revenue numbers. We did not fudge them to make them look better. The good news is that even with very conservative numbers, we can see a path to profitability.

SCOUTING

I have written several times about the different opportunities that we have encountered as far as locations go. All the while that we were working on our pro-forma and business plan, we were also scouting locations for the brewery. Every time that we thought we had the perfect fit, we had to adjust the plan and numbers to take into account each situation. We took a look at any nook and cranny that seemed like it might fit our needs. Some were buildings that we would have to retro-fit and some were vacant or wooded lots that would mean ground up construction. All in all, it ended up being close to 10 locations that we looked at in various degrees of seriousness. Each one had several pros, but most of them had cons that were enough to disqualify them. Finally we stumbled upon the location that we are working on. It fit the vision of being close to a population so that people can walk and ride their bikes and it also is in the heart of a growing area with lots of upside potential.

LOCATION

So we finally found the right location for our brewery. The property is a vacant piece of land and the owner is willing to sell it to us AND work with us on the construction. We wrote a contract for the purchase of the property that was contingent upon changing the zoning of the property, appraisal of the property and also some of the conditions that would allow us to build on the property.  The rezoning process was mostly covered in the Zoning In post. We also requested a variance on the building lot lines, because we really wanted to preserve the urban lines in the neighborhood, but the new zoning had some different requirements. The board of zoning appeals agreed with our vision and approved the variance request as well. This meant that everything was green-lit by the City. Now we needed to work with an architect to make sure we could fit a building on the property that not only met our needs but that we could also afford. Not an easy task as you will find out in subsequent posts.

In the next post, we will start delving into the architectural process, the search for funding and the out of pocket costs that we have had to endure up unto this point. I told you things would start to get interesting.

 

 

 

 

Zoning In

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The I last wrote about the actual process of planning and opening a brewery was back when I said that a location announcement was imminent. That was in July, and here it is November and I still haven’t made any announcements. I do apologize about that, but we are not planning to send out any info prematurely. We want to make sure that when we tell you where we are going and when we are going to open, that we will not be guessing.

In the previously mentioned post, I also talked about two really incredible opportunities that had presented themselves. Both of the properties were in close proximity to each other and both had incredible PROs and only minimal CONs. But in the end, one property stood out to us. One property gave us, just Pearce and I, full ownership of the actual dirt and building and one property did not. We would have had to give up too much equity in our business and still never really owned the building or land in the second option. It pretty much made it a no brainer. We put in a contract to purchase Option One. 

For the next several weeks and months I will be writing about the process and the trials and tribulations of building a brewery at Option One.

Option One is a vacant piece of land in an up-and-coming, well-trafficked (no puns intended) area of North Charleston. We have the property under contract and are working with a local urban planner to help develop the property. This means that we will be building a new building in a hip area and will have a loyal population all within walking distance. This is completely exciting for us because it completely fits our vision of this brewery.

The first obstacle in our forward progress was that the property was not zoned to allow a production brewery. The zoning would have allowed for a brew pub, which means that we could have had a brewery but we would not have been able to distribute any product outside of our tap room. This was not in line with our business plan, so we decided to push for the City to change the zoning on the property to a similar, but more favorable zoning.

Changing the zoning of a property is not a terribly HARD process to get started, but it is time-consuming, takes a while to jump through all of the hoops, and if the new zoning doesn’t make sense for the community then the City may not grant it.

mayor-saluteWe started the process and made application to the City at the end of September and they posted a notice on the piece of property calling for any public comments. The first step was to go before the Planning and Zoning Board to get a recommendation to take the zoning change request to City Council for review. There were a couple of folks who came out to speak against the zoning change. One lady was opposed to a new alcohol establishment being allowed. She is the president of one of the neighborhood groups and doesn’t want to see the area become “alcohol alley.” But the Planning Commission cannot concern itself with the intended use, only whether or not the zoning fits with the area. The other opponent was more vocal about changing the zoning and it would seem that he opposes MOST of the requests for zoning changes in the area. The City had sent their recommendation to approve and the Planning and Zoning board followed suit and sent the request forward with the one condition that we visit with the neighborhood groups and introduce ourselves and what we are planning. We met with the group not too long after the first meeting and felt that we were able to address all concerns and we left the meeting with the feeling that our presentation was a success.

The next step, two weeks later, was the first reading with City Council. Once again the same opponents showed up and said their piece. They were noted but the motion was sent to the next step, Public Safety.

The Public Safety meeting was the following week. It also allowed public comments, but there was no opposition at that meeting. The Public Safety committee voted unanimously for approval. That left one final step.

The next week the motion went back to City Council for final vote. There was no discussion and the vote passed unanimously.

That means that our property is approved for a brewery and the ball keeps rolling forward.

rezoned

Next steps: Planning and Design…

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GABF Pro-Am Follow Up

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There have been a lot of things happening in the life of this “start up” brewery lately and I have a lot to catch you all up on, but for right now I just wanted to give you a quick post to follow up on the GABF Pro-Am.

Long story short:

We did not win a medal in the GABF Pro-Am. We are waiting on our score sheets to tell us how we did do. Once we know, we will let you know. Maybe. Ok, probably.

Short story long:

What an awesome experience. First and foremost I would like to thank Ryan Coker and the guys at Revelry Brewing here in Charleston for asking us to participate with our beer, Wise One.  Shout out to Jay, Sean, Brendan, Hunter, Michael and the rest of the crew for letting Pearce and I come in and brew our recipe with them and be a part of the team. The reception that we got around town for the beer was incredible and even though we didn’t win a medal for it, the market validation was great. It sold out quickly all around town.

GABF was incredible. There were over 3,000 breweries represented with over 7,000 beers in 100 different categories. Meeting other brewers from around the country and getting to try some of the World’s best beer was quite an experience. Not to mention that Denver is a beautiful city. One of my favorite parts was getting to attend the Brewer’s Appreciation Lunch at Avery Brewing where we got to mingle with some of those world-class brewers, eat all the BBQ we wanted and drink a bunch of one-off and special beers from Avery. Good times.

The REALLY excellent news coming out of GABF is that we got to celebrate with our homeslices from Revelry as THEY WON A MEDAL!

Revelry took home the silver medal in the Scotch Ale category with their beer Oh My Darlyn! The whooping and hollering from the South Carolina contingency was quite outstanding.  Winning a medal at GABF is like winning a medal in the beer Olympics. There are no higher honors in the competition world.

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Congrats guys!

Another really cool thing that happened at GABF is that Pearce and I got to meet one of my personal beer heroes, Jay Goodwin and his dad Brad from the Rare Barrel. Pearce even said I fan-boyed a little bit. Sorry Jay.

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There is a lot more that I could say about GABF, but I’m not going to. It was awesome and I cannot wait to go back as the proprietor of our own place. Maybe it will even be next year.

In closing, I want to let you know that starting with the next post, we will start truly delving into the process of starting a brewery. Although I have not posted a lot about the process up until this point, there have been a lot of things happening and a lot of moving parts set into motion. We have some super exciting updates coming up shortly.

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Stay tuned!

 

GABF Pro-Am with Revelry Brewing

proam_logo

Back in May I wrote about some of the competitions that we had recently won and how exciting it was to get some validation on a few of our brews. There was one thing that was an unexpected consequence of those wins that will hopefully have some impact on our commercial endeavors.

Not too long after the Colonial Cup competition I received a message from the director of the contest asking if Pearce and I would be interested in teaming up with Revelry Brewing, a local commercial brewer here in Charleston, to brew our category first place winning Hefeweizen for the GABF Pro-Am. The guys at Revelry are brewing really great beers and we have said from day one that of all of the breweries in Charleston, they would be the ones we most looked up to.

If you don’t already know, the Great American Beer Festival (GABF) is the Mecca of beer festivals and competitions in the U S of A. Breweries are put on the map when they win medals here. Being a homebrewer and getting the chance to brew one of our recipes to then send to this competition is a dream come true. There are over 7,000 entries accepted to the commercial side of the competition. There are only 96 entries accepted to the Pro-Am. In order to even apply the homebrewers must have a first place finish in a BJCP certified competition AND then they must be ASKED by the commercial brewer.

Needless to say, we jumped at the opportunity to brew with Revelry and enter our award-winning Wise One Hefeweizen into the competition.

Long story short, we brewed a 20 barrel batch of Wise One a couple of weeks ago. We packaged up the competition bottles and kegs and sent them off to Denver and that left us we a good bit of beer to spread around town.

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If you happen to be in the Charleston area this coming weekend, please head over to Revelry Brewing and raise a glass of commercial and amateur collaboration to a GABF Pro-Am Medal! It will also be making its way around town, so if you see it at a restaurant or taproom, let us know what you think!

Also, here are a couple of local articles written about it!

City Paper (#FUPlyler)

Post & Courier

 

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A Location Announcement is Imminent

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You know what the hardest part is about planning a brewery? Having a free second to tell you all about it.
For realz.

Well, maybe finding a location too.

The past several weeks have seen our “planning” go from 0-100 in intensity and direction. We have spent countless hours over the past year formulating a business plan and a pro forma while searching for a location that truly fits the vision and plan that we have created. Location searching, from what I hear from other brewers in planning as well as our own experience, is one of the toughest parts of the game. Especially here in Charleston. Meeting all of the municipal requirements for zoning and use as well as finding something that makes financial sense is damn near impossible. That being said, there is a lot of empty warehouse space over near where we live and it is dirt cheap, but it doesn’t fit with the very specific idea we have of NOT being a destination brewery in the middle of nowhere. We want to be much closer to a population center.

And that makes it very tough.

However, all of the sudden, in the past month and a half, we have had five location opportunities suddenly appear that either fit or came very close to fitting our vision.

We had to dig in quickly to vet each of the locations and determine if they met the zoning and use requirements, if they had the appropriate utility connections, and whether or not they fit into the financial plan. Three of the five opportunities looked amazing on the surface, but with further scrutiny, they just didn’t make sense for one reason or another.

Our 29492 friends and followers will be disappointed to know that one of the options that we were VERY seriously looking at was on Daniel Island proper. We actually got as far as getting approval from the City of Charleston but then some factors that we had no control over made the location unavailable. In the end we believe it was a blessing in disguise for a number of reasons, one of which was that it was by far the most expensive option.

This location looked awesome, until the need for a half million dollars of fill dirt.
This location looked awesome, until the need for a half million dollars of fill dirt.

One of the locations was a vacant piece of land that looked incredible, but after further scrutiny, we discovered that it was so low that it needed half a million dollars in fill dirt just to get it up to grade. Ouch. Good luck to whoever tries to build ANYTHING there!

The third option was initially looking like it might be the best option that we had seen. It was a very old shell building located in an already vibrant commercial area with lots of foot traffic. We initiated contact with the broker and discovered that the owners were not willing to offer ANY upfit or improvements on the location nor would they be interested in selling the location at all. We presented an LOI for a lease on the property with what we believed to be a fair offer. It was immediately rejected on the grounds that it was worth much more than what we were offering. We vehemently disagreed and then made an offer to purchase the location.  It was also denied. We began the age-old tug-of-war of lease negotiations which went back and forth several times. We were basically told that what we wanted would never happen in the area that we were looking for the price we wanted.  At the height of our negotiations, there was a personal family matter that arose that caused us to stall negotiations while dealing with the family emergency. Don’t fret. The matter, while serious, is under control.

Call it divine intervention, calculated strategic prowess, or just plain ‘ole dumb luck, but during the two weeks that the negotiations on the old building were on hold, we were presented with what can only be described as two incredible opportunities that caused all others to pale in comparison.  Both opportunities would be new construction, built-to-suite buildings in the same area as the old building and both options give us the opportunity to own the property.

So at this very moment, that is the conundrum we face. Which of the two home-run opportunities will be the best option for Pearce and I? Both are only a matter of signing on the dotted line. Either one could be ours at any moment.

In the next few weeks we will be meeting with banks, investors, advisors, mentors, and whoever else will give us a minute to lend their thoughts on which option to go with. We have set a deadline of Labor Day 2016 to make the decision. At that point we will enter a due diligence period and once we clear any hurdles we will make an announcement. Exciting, huh?

This is truly only a fraction of all that has been going on in our brewing world. I have so much to tell you and so little time. In the next few weeks keep your eyes peeled for posts about us winning a People’s Choice award at a local homebrew garden, our GABF Pro-Am brew with Revelry Brewing here in Charleston, and about my new position at that same commercial brewery.  I bet you just can’t wait…

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Cleaning Up the Competitions

Sorry.
It has been a few weeks since the last post. There has been a lot going on but nothing that truly warrants a status update…EXCEPT…

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Oh yeah.  These too…

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We entered 5 beers into the American Homebrewer’s Association National Homebrew Competition and took home certificate honors with 3 of them. We also took a first place ribbon with our Hefeweizen. Then not a week after getting that news, we took another first place with the same beer in our local homebrew competition, the Lowcountry Libations Colonial Cup…

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I talked about how my personal view of competitions has changed since deciding to go commercial in the post called Award Winning Homebrewers. I have to admit that entering competitions and getting feedback is great, but winning ribbons is even better.

With all of that being said, I know that many of you are wondering why we haven’t actually been posting any information about the processes that we are going through in planning this brewery and how we are going to open doors to the public. All I can ask is that you have patience. We are actively pursuing, negotiating, planning, and working towards that goal and the next few posts will give you a taste of what the planning process is like and where we are in that process.

In the meantime, I greatly appreciate your support of our endeavors. If you would like to take the next step in helping us realize our vision, please consider purchasing a t-shirt or some stickers. Thank you guys!