Building a Bigger Brewery: Weeks 20-21

Since the last installment, a lot has happened.  I have now revisited one of the spaces  three more times!  The second time I brought my wife, the third time it was with my wife, kids and Jesse and the fourth time with the architects.  Am I excited?  No.  Not quiet yet.  It’s too early to get the heart prematurely involved…I have to stay all-brains.  I can’t fall in love just yet. I have to figure out what hidden secrets this location may have.

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Fermentors and bright tanks will go in the space behind my son.

I have also met with some bankers on the financing of this project.  It was a great discussion.  I think I was able to provide a lot of data from my end, but I do need to provide more and in much more detail.  Fair enough, as it’s no small change we are talking about.  Fortunately it’s not something I can’t do.

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Lot’s of room to grow…and grow up.

I’m feeling the pressure though.  I have a lot to do to secure financing on a production brewery in a short amount of time but I need to give Jesse some of my responsibilities to do so.  I can’t find time to do that as with the awesome Diamond Deli partnership…and the Summit Brewpath, which hit nearly simultaneously, we are running full tilt.  AND I MEAN FULL TILT. Busy hours have been more erratic and we are trying to get a handle on more staffing.  Jesse and I think we have a feel on what we have to do schedule-wise to make that switch next month.  I’ve been a floater for most of March but I’m being used more like a constant…which is pretty cool, but it’s just harder to transition to that next step.

(I do have to thank my staff for continuing to step up until we get some more people in – Jesse and Rebecca are doing a great job on plugging the holes in an already erratic schedule and stepping in when needed.  It was from their help, that I was able to leave a little earlier this Sunday and spend time planning and moving ahead instead of treading water.)

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Not a whole lot of outdoor area at this location.

I think Jesse and I have mapped-out an April schedule that shifts responsibilities on several people while also getting more staff.  The next few weeks will be tough though as I have a lot to do until the new scheduling takes place.

Timeframe?

I have made a few calls to the Feds inquiring that if I have an existing brewery, that if I add a production facility do I get to cut in the waiting line since a lot of information has already been verified?  No.  I go to the back of the line with existing brewery changes and new breweries alike.  That line is 6 to 9 months long.  Ehhh.

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Think of Rheingeist’s mezzanine taproom.

What’s the next steps?

Get through March.  Lay as much groundwork on the loan, facility and equipment costs as I can.  I also need to get some stuff ready for Jesse to take more of my daily responsibilities so that when April arrives, I can focus more on the production brewery.

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I need to talk to and get an approval letter from Akron Zoning.  Everybody tells me that this is solid to do with whatever I want…but one thing I have learned (though not by by own past mistakes) is that the Building Department makes sure you have Zoning clearance first before even looking at your plans you have invested thousands in.  Many places never get off the ground due to this mis-step.

 

And then once I have more information on ‘everything,’ I can finish working on possible final lease terms.  I can make it happen in a month…I think.

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I’m still looking at other spaces in the meantime.  You never know if something better is around the corner.  But I am focused on getting all the numbers required for this current space to move forward with a lease.  If I get to that stage and nothing else pops up that equals this space pictured in the above pics, you are now looking at what could be Akron’s largest production brewery (in usable sq.ft.)…though it would take me awhile to fill it.  😉  …then again, maybe not.  You all seem very thirsty.

 

 

 

 

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