Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Building a Brewery: December 27, 2017

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? 

Wart time.

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 One: the unit runs on an extremely expensive, out of date refrigerant that is also far less efficient than the current, cheaper refrigerant.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.

There's no rest for the weary, and no shortage of axioms and cliches in the beer blogging world. We still have a lot of work to do to open our doors and officially welcome you to the New Main Taproom and Events Center. Each passing day of hard work and dedication by us, our loyal friends and helpers, and each of you sharing our story with friends and family brings us all closer to that first foamy pint. We hope your holidays are safe, warm, and restful. See y'all again real soon!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Building a Brewery: December 5, 2017

It's beginning to look a lot like a taproom! The past few weeks have been monumentally productive for New Main Brewing. We have been working on furnishing our conversation room, completing some major plumbing and mechanical work, building new signage to help bring people in off the street, and getting ready to start building up our beer stock.


Social Media & Signage

For those of y'all following our social media, you know that we just reached 1,000 likes on Facebook. That is a huge deal for us! We are so thankful to each and every one of you who mentioned New Main Brewing to a friend or coworker, and we look forward to a thousand more people to meet in the future. You may have also noticed on social media all of the photos on social media of us swinging hammers and toiling tirelessly inside our space. Our main sign will be placed over the existing sign in front of our building (because up-cycling), and should be easily seen and read from Pioneer Parkway - Spur 303. We will be staining and sealing all of the wood to keep it weather-proof, then we will install that bad boy very soon. Expect lots more photos from artistic angles and such.

Taproom Improvements

We have also been working on a creative solution to there being mirrors on almost every vertical surface in our building. We're planning a simple mural to cover a good portion of these mirrors, which should make the taproom feel more like a taproom and less like Zumba class - not that there's anything wrong with that. We have also been replacing some lighting fixtures in the conversation room to bring a little warmth and comfort to the place. We spent the last few weeks scouring DFW and Facebook Marketplace for inexpensive but tasteful furniture for an eclectic mix of pieces that will make your beer drinking experience richer. As a bonus, I've meet even more folks excited to come see us once we open (and maybe sit in their old chairs for nostalgia's sake).

T.A.B.C. & B.E.E.R.

We are also proud to announce that our TABC licensing came through! We are now authorized to purchase beer, cider, kombucha, coffee, or whatever beverage you would like to see issuing from one of our 20 taps. We assembled our cold room this past weekend, and with a few connections here and there, soon we should have her cold and ready to start amassing a great selection of Texas craft beverages. We have a handful of suggestions so far, but we'd love to hear more about what y'all are excited to try. We need you to tell us what you want to drink, so email and let us know what we need to track down. 

New Main Studios

New Main Brewing has also become the new home to our beer-centric podcast, Casually Lit. Casually Lit is basically a weekly bottle share where our friends Jason, Rohde, Chris and I share five or so independent brews and chat about what's moving and shaking in the Craft Beer scene. We discuss things like proper aging of beer, the latest trends in new beer styles, and we bring on guests from across the spectrum of beer experience - from your average macro beer drinker to actual professional brewers and beer journalists. If you enjoy the types of conversations overheard at any given brewery tour or taproom, then you should love our show as much as we love bringing it to you. Fair warning, we discuss adult topics with adult language, so it might not be great for the kiddos.

With the help of some great friends, we have been transforming this great big shell into our new home (just like a nautilus). We still have a large amount of work to do, but there is most certainly a light at the end of the tunnel. The number one question on all of your minds, I'm sure, is "When are y'all going to open?!" The best answer I can give you is "Not soon enough," but I can say with finality that we are weeks away from a couple soft opening events. 

We will likely have our Grand Opening in January 2018, but we have not set a date yet. Join our mailing list to be included when we send our invites out for the upcoming events in our newly remodeled taproom, and you'll be the first to know when we are ready to fling our doors wide and serve the finest beverages Texas has to offer. Cheers!