We have a nice, big, juicy update for y'all this week. But first, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year! I hope Santa brought each of y'all the perfect present, and I hope you have your shiny new list of New Year's resolutions scrawled out and ready to display prominently, if not passive-aggressively at eye-level on the fridge. First at the top of our list is opening our taproom and events venue AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE.
To that end, the holidays were no excuse for us to take a load off and stop chipping away at the to-do list for our opening. We even drafted our friends and family into helping us with some work on the taproom. We added another coat of gold paint to our mirror mural... our mirral? We also began building the actual counter and bartop over which countless pints, growlers, crowlers, flights, and tasters will be shared with you fine people.
There is still plenty left to do to finalize these items, but we certainly appreciated several extra sets of hands pushing us a few steps closer to our dream.
Do y'all remember when I set out on this blogging journey over a year ago and said we'd share everything with y'all, good and bad, uplifting and down-bringing, warts and all?
We bought a walk-in cooler from a fella on Craigslist about 6 months ago, and we've been impatiently waiting to hook it up while our contractors worked on some interior improvements necessary for its installation. Once we got the all clear from contractors and inspectors, we excitedly assembled the box, like Christmas morning in reverse. With no small amount of effort, hard work, and
swears sweat, we were finally ready to wire it up and get it cold. Our good friend Ron gave me a crash course in electrical work, and we were ready to recharge the fridge unit and cool that baby down. We even used old fence pickets to give the facade an artsy up-cycled look.
We called some fridge techs to come out and breathe life into the empty shell. You ever heard that bad news comes in threes? One: the unit runs on an extremely expensive, out of date refrigerant that is also far less efficient than the current, cheaper refrigerant. Two: with all the holes drilled for wiring, mounting, and the reach-in doors, (forget about the panels that refused to latch together for a proper seal) the condenser and fan would be working overtime just to maintain the proper temperature, IF it even passed inspection. Three: WHEN, not if, the unit failed every couple of weeks, it would be somewhere around $1,000 to "fix" it, and the techs could not warranty any work they did given its age and likelihood to continue crapping out on us. Yay, small business ownership!
So after some quick mafs, I figured it would be cheaper in the long run to replace the box entirely rather than try to limp to our grand opening with the pile of crap we bought from a stranger on the internet. (Insert cliche about getting what you pay for). We began searching desperately for anyone who could get us a cooler in the next 2 weeks, becoming "those people" who don't care that it's Christmas and New Year's soon, and that the company is operating on a skeleton crew, Sheryl, we need it yesterday, by God! No less than 16 conversations and quotes later, we found someone who could get us a running box by New Years. The box arrives tomorrow, and we're going to bust ass to get it running by January 1 so we can start grabbing the finest beverages available for our opening.
To help us recover from our walk-in woes, we were also joined by some new friends of the brewery, Dirk and Alexa for some much-needed brewery cleaning and sign installation. We rented a 30 cubic yard dumpster to throw away pretty much every pile of refuse that builds up after a year of renovation. Toilets, sinks, boxes, sawdust, old fences, you name it. The dumpster arrived at 11am and was full before 3pm the same day. We shed blood, sweat, and tears getting the building cleared out, and I don't mean that symbolically. Alexa stepped on a nail while hauling fence panels to the dumpster (did you know tetanus shots are good for 10 years? Yay!), everyone was sweating profusely in the 80 degree December-in-Texas afternoon, and I'll admit I shed a few tears of joy after we mounted our sign out front of our building.