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October 12th, 2010

October update

Well so much for the September update. According to my calendar it is currently October 12th, which means that (excuse me one sec while I look at the construction schedule)…… the building is complete and we are ready to brew!!!!

Hahaha just kidding. Of course the brewery isn’t done yet. We’re still trapped in the “construction time warp” where tasks take 5x as long as they should. Nevertheless, we are making progress and I think we are almost at the home stretch. The process plumbing should be finished by this weekend, the boiler should be ready to start up, and hopefully we’ll be able to get the temporary power connected to the brewing equipment shortly so we can start cleaning and testing everything. We’re also working on getting the “Beers” page up so you all can check out the beers we’ll be launching with. Hopefully the next update will have some photos from our first brew day!

August 6th, 2010

August update

Wow it’s August already! Time flies when you’re starting a brewery, but unfortunately this doesn’t seem to apply to construction work. Despite a few delays we are still on track to have beer ready to drink by the end of October (hopefully a little earlier).  A couple key things have happened in the past few weeks:

  • The urethane floor coating was applied to the brewing/fermentation area. This protects the concrete underneath from eroding due to all the liquids that will be dumped on it (beer is somewhat acidic). Over time, an unprotected concrete floor can be compromised to the point where it can no longer support the very heavy fermenters sitting on it, which is really not a good thing, to say the least.
  • The concrete deck for the mezzanine/office level and the roof of the boiler/grain rooms were poured.
  • Our steam boiler and the first fermenter (a smaller 30 bbl tank for small batches and experimental beers) were delivered.

The rest of our brewing equipment (minus the brewhouse, which will be about a week behind) is scheduled to arrive in Charleston on Monday 8/9, and will probably show up at the brewery on Tuesday. Assuming that happens, we should have the tanks set in place by Wednesday. The floor coating crew will then return to apply the coating for the packaging and cold storage areas, and the plumbers will get to work piping everything together. By the end of next week, 510 Ridge should finally start looking like a brewery!

Check out our About page for the latest construction photos.

May 3rd, 2010

Construction, Promotion, and Legislation

Things have been pretty busy here at Westbrook Brewing since I last posted. In 1 month, the brewery site has been transformed from a patch of pine trees into a cleared, graded, formed, plumbed, and rebar-ed brewery-to-be. Provided that the weather cooperates, the first 2 pours of concrete for the slab should happen later this week, and then next week the steel beams for the building structure (which were delivered this morning) will start going up. A few pics below, but you’ll have to go to our Facebook page to check out the full album.

View from Ridge Road

The building pad

Steel!

Unloading truck 1 of 4

In other news, this past Friday was the public (sort of) debut of some Westbrook Brewing test batches! Morgan and I served up 6 different beers at an event on Daniel Island, and the response was fantastic. As I expected, the ginger/lemongrass Belgian white was the most popular, but our double dry-hopped West coast style IPA was also a big hit. The coolest part of the night was seeing people who told us “I’m not a beer drinker” or some variation of that statement try a taste and then come back a few minutes later for a full glass.

Morgan and I bracing for the onslaught of thirsty people
(sorry for the blurry pic)

Last but definitely not least, the SC Microbrewery Tasting bill, H. 3693, has passed the House with a unanimous “yea” vote and is now scheduled for a Senate subcommittee hearing this Thursday, May 6. All the SC brewers will be there to testify, but we need your support! Read this Support Your Local Brewery action alert to find out how to help. There is exactly one month remaining in the 2010 legislative session and there is a real danger that the bill may not pass simply due to running out of time!! That’s why we need you to contact the senators listed at the link above before Thursday and urge them to get behind this bill and move it quickly through the Senate. We’re so close!

April 1st, 2010

We have land!

I’ve been waiting a long time to type this post.

Finally, after a very long and unnecessarily difficult process fraught with numerous and myriad delays and setbacks, I’m very happy to announce that Westbrook Brewing Company at about 11:30 am today officially closed on the site where we will construct our brewery! The location is at 301 Ridge Road in Mt. Pleasant, which is right next to the Velocity Sports Performance building on Wando Park Blvd and backs up to I-526.




View Larger Map

Although we had a long delay closing on the property, we were able to use that extra time to get our building designed, approved, and ready to go, which means that on Monday our contractor will start clearing and grading the site!

301 Ridge, now

301 Ridge, in 6 months

The brewery is going to be approximately 15k square feet, and will house our 30 barrel brewing system and 60 barrel fermenting tanks, a cold room, a separate “cool” room for storing oak barrels, a quality control lab, and (hopefully) a tasting room where we’ll feature our standard beer lineup as well as some small batch, experimental brews.

As construction progresses I’ll be posting some photos on here periodically, but keep an eye on our Facebook page for the full construction photo album.

We can’t wait to start brewing beer for all you thirsty people out there! Buckle up, South Carolina!