Friday, November 14, 2008

Today's Update

I’ve been getting requests for a brewery update, so I’m going to lay it out.
We wrestle this unruly beast every day and slowly we’re winning.
Much of the process is now in the hands of others like architects and engineers. Everything we do has to be put in plan form, approved by the city and then physically put into play. All the while we do things that don’t need this type of approval. It’s been a wild orchestration that can easily get blundered should one thing derail.

To be specific:

The Architect and his team are close to done, so the structural layout, floor plan and second floor design are almost complete. Much of this time has been spent creatively addressing how the first and second floor function together in order to work well for our needs, meet code and to not have to sprinkler all 12,000 sq. ft of the building. We’ve also had to redesign for two handicap bathrooms, put together a whole new lighting plan, make changes to our kitchen (no we will not be a restaurant), change the location of the front door and both windows, add a door from the retail area to the brewery, address a lot of airflow concerns and a mess of other things that I won’t get into. As soon as those drawings are done the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Engineer will address all of his issues on those same plans. At the same time, the Structural Engineer will look over the entire structure to make sure code is met, then reconfigure the second floor where we’ll mill our grain. We’ll reinforce that area to handle the load of our mill, grain storage etc. Then those drawings head off to the city for approval. Once aspects are approved, which shouldn’t take too long, (they will go through and address things one by one) we can put each approved piece into action immediately. We estimate executing that work in one month.
In the meantime, we’ve been dry-locking all the concrete block in the building so we can hose down everything. It’s taken a long time because there’s a ton of it. We’ve done some floor work in the brewhouse and fermentation area to make things flow better. We’re now laying down epoxy in both areas. We went with “Dark Gray,” it should look fly. Once the epoxy has set we can put our tanks in place and start piping things together. We’re building a pad on the roof where our chillers will sit. We’ll use a crane to get the big unit onto the roof – we’re looking forward to having a crane. These chillers will run our Glycol system that will keep our vessels nice and chilly.
We have the basic design of the “Retail Area” complete. The whole concept of this area is a little unique. It’s still semi-top secret, as we’re still hashing it out, but it will offer our customers something fun. Aesthetically speaking we’re looking at a lot of wood, some iron and that’s all I can say.
The sidewalk permit we need to rip off the exterior façade will come this week so we can rip down the old wood to make room for our signage that is close to ready. We’ll have large, solid aluminum letters mounted to the building that are exactly the same as our logo. There will also be our star at the highest point on the building.

So, that’s the scoop. I’m wearing a particle mask while typing this and all is swell in the land of fun and beer.

Half Acre Beer Co
Chicago, IL


the fat guy who rides said...

i saw what your sign is going to look like. its AWESOME!!! inside info is great. :)

Mike McGarry said...

We live around the corner from the new site and we are really excited to welcome you to the neighborhood!

PS I really hope the retail area will have room to stop in and enjoy a pint ;-)