Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Building a Brewery: August 15, 2017

The last two weeks have been HUGE for New Main. As we mentioned last time, we have been focusing our energy on our Special Use Permit (SUP) Application allowing for the sale of alcohol in our building. Basically, the Town had to clear us to be able to operate a taproom for on- and off-premise consumption. I'm proud to announce that we received unanimous approval from both the Planning & Zoning Commission as well as the Town Council of Pantego! 


We are very grateful for the support shown by our community and our fans throughout this process. I wanted to cover some of the topics we discussed at the meeting so that y'all don't get the impression that we just breezed through it all. SUP Applications take a great deal of time, effort, planning, and teamwork to get approved. As a Civil Engineer, I have prepared zoning cases for clients before on things like residential developments, gas stations, and assisted living facilities all across DFW. It's definitely a little more "real" when you do it for your own project.

The most important component of the SUP process is to discuss what the intended use will be and how it will impact the community if it were to be approved. The Pantego Town Council and Planning & Zoning Commission brought up a few important points that I think would be good to share with y'all. 

First of all, we believe good fences make good neighbors. The fence at the rear of the property (to the north) is in desperate need of replacement. We plan to replace the existing dilapidated 6' fence with a new 8' fence to improve the aesthetics of the backyard area, promote sound dampening, and show goodwill to our residential neighbors. 

Second, since we do share a property line with multiple Pantego residents, we submitted guidelines for a Noise Abatement Plan so as not to disturb our neighbors' lives with our business operations. Replacing the fence, adding vegetation in the backyard area, prohibiting music in the backyard area, and limiting our hours of operation will all hopefully express our concern with our neighbors' well-being and enjoyment of their properties.

Lastly, parking was an issue that was discussed at length in both meetings with the Town of Pantego. For those of you who have been to many of the other fine craft breweries in DFW, you know that parking is always a struggle because of the nature of industrial buildings that breweries tend to occupy. One of the reasons we selected our building is because it offers 25 spaces onsite, overflow street parking, and several excellent neighboring businesses who are excited to see a brewery come to Pantego. That said, we only signed a joint parking agreement with The Runner Shop, right across the street from us. 

There are many other fine Pantego businesses on our street, but we couldn't reach an agreement with all of them to share parking burden. With a little coordination and signage, we should be able to let our guests know where it is safe to park without the fear of getting towed. We will have signage on our property and temporary signs on neighboring properties to guide our patrons to agreed upon parking areas. We have also learned that quite a few of our fans are within walking distance to the brewery, which will cut down on the amount of vehicles looking for a space as well as helping the environment. Hey, two birds, one stone!

We anticipate weekly parking (Thursday & Friday) to be adequately served by our parking lot and overflow street parking. Saturdays may be a little more busy, so we can direct additional folks over to The Runner (where you can find some of the best athletic apparel and gear in DFW, I might add!). For events where we anticipate larger-than-normal crowds, we will communicate with our neighboring businesses to see if we may temporarily use their lot space. We can also partner with ride-sharing services like Uber and/or Lyft to cut y'all some deals. Either way, a parking diagram will accompany all of our social media event posts, a parking map will be posted on our website, and an additional map will be prominently displayed inside to remind folks where it is recommended they park. Nobody wants to get towed, and we certainly want to make it as easy as possible to visit New Main.

Now that we have approval from the Town to operate as a taproom and eventually a brewery, it's time to get down to business fixing the place up. We have a fence to replace, a cold room to install, a bar to build, a sign to re-face, furniture to acquire, and a deck to finish before we can dream of opening for business. Some of those things are better left to the professionals, but there are plenty of things that some well-motivated volunteers can get done! After the success of our first work party a few weeks ago, we'll be hosting a few more in the coming months as we get closer to opening our doors. 

As always, keep up with our blog updates and Facebook page for more information about where, when, and what we'll be working on. Oh, and now that all this Town stuff is finished for the moment, I think it's high time I got back behind the brew stand and make some more award-winning New Main beer!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Building a Brewery: August 1, 2017


It was shaping up to be a VERY hot weekend, so we decided to sacrifice a few sleep-in hours Saturday morning to get busy building this dang brewery while it was still relatively cool. We put out a small flyer on Facebook last week, and some brave and generous souls answered the call to arms (well...power tools).


I want to acknowledge and thank our amazing volunteers that came out this past weekend to help us with renovations on the building. Jeff Knussman, Jim Kunkle, Gerry Cooper, and Jim & Brenda Case, you guys are all rockstars! I don't know about y'all, but I'm still sore from ripping the old, rotten deck boards off the backyard deck and painting the interior room. Your hard work and support are the most important part of building this brewery, and we are forever grateful.

We were hoping to be able to reuse the deck boards for various crafts and improvements, but they are largely rotten and unusable. Sadly, we're going to have to find a trailer and haul the stripped lumber off to the dump. The good news is that all of the joists under the deck are in pretty good condition and won't need to be replaced. All we'll have to do is replace the decking with some treated lumber, and we've got a brand new-ish deck for the back yard!

While us poor saps were outside sweating to the hits of the 80's, Amanda and Brenda were inside painting what will become the conversation room. This is the interior of the smaller free-standing building inside our main space. When we get up and running, we envision this space will provide a quieter, more intimate setting to toss back a pint and catch up with friends and family. It's amazing what a fresh coat of paint will do to a room.

Amanda and I must be gluttons for punishment, because we returned Sunday afternoon for a little more painting in the building. Now that the interior of the small building was looking good, we decided to get rid of as much orange as possible on the exterior. As many of you know, our name comes from a family story wherein two brothers got into hijinks at Texas A&M University. We decided to pay them further tribute by painting over the orange with a nice fresh coat of maroon. WHOOP! 

The next big renovation items looming on the horizon include assembling the cold room we purchased a few weeks ago, building the bar, furnishing the taproom area, resurfacing the deck out back, building a sign out front, and probably a million other things we haven't thought up yet. We'll organize another work party soon so y'all can come in and help us get this show on the road as well as getting a sneak peek of the taproom before we get open. 


Many of y'all are asking, "When will you be open?" The only answer I can give you with 100% accuracy is "Not soon enough!" However, we do have some milestones coming up that you can help us with to make our opening come sooner! We posted a few weeks ago about submitting our paperwork for our Specific Use Permit with the Town of Pantego, and we are pleased to announce that the Planning and Zoning Commission will be hearing our case at 7pm, Monday, August 7th at the Town Council Chambers on Bowen Rd. 

We would greatly appreciate it if any of our Pantego-resident fans could come and show us some support as we describe our goals and visions for New Main Brewing. If everything goes well with the P&Z meeting, our case will go before the Town Council the following Monday evening, August 14th, also at 7pm for final review (and hopefully approval). Both of these meetings are very important in terms of eventually getting open and becoming your neighborhood gathering place. We hope to see y'all there! Cheers!