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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…