Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Department of Environmental Health

We are resubmitting our Department of Environmental Health paperwork. Turning over a new leaf hopefully. Our initial submitted plan had us calling our brewing premise a "Wholesale Foods Processing Area" (Note: DO NOT DO THAT!) just call it the "Brewing Premise."

I've heard from a few sources that the DEH is the toughest hurdle in opening a new brewery, so though we can legally sell to bars, it might be a little while until we can legally serve you a pint on premise. Not that I'd sell you one illegally.

Department of Health Requirements:

1. UP TO CODE: There is a very long and complicated list of requirements that your establishment needs to meet in order to serve the public.

2. 11"x17" Copy of your floor plan / diagram / plat in triplicate.

3. Environmental Health Note: i.e. what is the impact of your facility / the construction of the facility.

4. Plumbing Layout: Exactly what it sounds like.

5. Equipment Schedule: Location, Manufacturer, Model #, Exterior Finish, Interior Finish, and Remarks. AND Equipment location (floor plan with numbered equipment layout corresponding to the equipment schedule)

6. Cut Sheets: Manufacturer cut sheets (diagrams) of equipment

7. HVAC Layout: Exactly what it sounds like.

8. Existing Finishes: Location, What the color, material, and description of: Walls, Floors, Ceiling, Casing, Baseboard, and Finish.

9. Site Plan: Everything around you, i.e. your street location, trash cans, storm drains, etc...

10. Various legal agreements if there are any with others around you.

11. $$$: Check for however much your local Department of Health deems necessary. Probably close to $1,000.00

Operation Guide
Food Handlers Handbook
Employee Health & Hygiene Guidelines
Insider's Guide to Hand Washing
Saving Water Today; for a less thirsty future.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Website is Live!

I don't even know what you people are doing here... 
Our website is up and running! 

Go check it out! 

I'll still be updating the odyssey regularly, but you can find out other neat stuff at the site as we continue to add content. In other news we are brewing up our Intrepidus IPA. It's a whale of an ale. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

TTB Labels.

Very Van Gogh.
Now that we are fully approved by the state and feds to brew and sell beer it is a matter of getting label approval, which as it turns out is a bit of a process as well.  
There are a lot of rules and stipulations to having a label. I guess it makes sense though, I can't tell people that drinking our beer will make you a better person (even though it does.) You also have to put certain legal things on there like "Brewed and Bottled/Packed by: ...." or "GOVERNMENT WARNING:"  
Here is pretty much everything you could possibly want to know about labeling malt beverages.

Presenting - B.A.M. Vol. 3

Chapter 1: Mandatory Label Information
Brand Name = Most obvious aspect of label and not misleading.

Chapter 2: Type Size and Legibility
Must be legible and appropriate for the size of container .

Minimum 2 mm for containers larger than ½ pint 
Minimum 1 mm for containers of ½ pint or less 

Chapter 3: Health Warning Statement
Required font size and spacing:

Over 3 liters (101 fl. oz.)                                                                  3 mm 
Over 237 ml (8 fl. oz.) to 3 liters (101 fl. oz.)                               2 mm 
237 ml or less                                                                                    1 mm 

Minimum Type                                      Maximum Characters 
Size Requirement                                  Per Inch 
1 mm                                                              40 
2 mm                                                              25 
3 mm                                                              12 

Chapter 4: Class and Type Designation
Rules about how you label the class and/or type of beverage

Chapter 5: Net Contents
For some reason you cannot label stuff as ounces, they have to be in pints, quarts and gallons. (over 12 oz at least.)

There is also the super E-Z label guide here

Thursday, February 4, 2010

First Licensed Brew Day!

Today we are brewing up our "Grazias Ale" it's a style of our own invention - kind of a blend between a Vienna Lager and a Cream Ale - a Vienna Cream Ale if you will. Sure it doesn't really conform to any BJCP style guidelines, but we think it's a pretty great beer anyways! Pretty, pretty, pretty... pretty good.
Our friend Frank came out to help us today. Nothing like an extra hand to hold a leaky hose, wait... that didn't sound right. I meant to say, there is nothing like a having an extra person around to assist in brewing.
It's a pretty cool feeling to be brewing our first licensed (and taxable!) batch of beer. Now it's only a matter of getting our kegs, pints, growlers, and DEH approval.

Here are some pics from the brew day:

Mike overseeing lautering - Look at the size of that kettle! It's huge!

Mashed In, recirculating the wort.

Checking the gravity on the fly in our custom small sample wort chiller, fabricated by Hess brewing brother Greg, of
Sierra Graphics.

Mike sets up for single pass chilling to the conical with the Therminator
(thanks Blichmann)

(the other Mike) regulating wort to the Fermenator. 68* on the dot.
We are currently using a More Beer 2050 Tippy Brewing Sculpture, but we are in the process of having a custom 1.6 bbl system made. Until then we will be SUPER nano at only 2/3 of a barrel per batch.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Small Beer Manufacturer - Type 23

Pictured Above: Approval

We are finally licensed by both the State and the Federal Government. It took about six months of paperwork and dealing with some nice people; seriously, everyone we have talked with seemed happy to help (even if it sometimes took a couple weeks). We are now a legal craft brewery!

The only thing we have left to accomplish is getting approval from the Department of Environmental Health to serve beer in our warehouse/brewery. DEH!!! We've hit a bit of a snag there regarding whether we are a brewery or a wholesale foods manufacturer... I think we are a small beer manufacturer, no food here (except maybe in Ben's office, ZING!) Hopefully we can remedy the situation ASAP and have you all in for a drink!