So You Want to Build a Brewery?

Here’s one way to do it.

Start with a free-standing building. Something under 10,000 square feet. Ceiling with 16 foot clearance works best. Town sewer and water connections are preferable. Speaking of water, there’s no doubt that access to a good, plentiful water supply is essential and will have a noticeable impact on the taste of beer.

We know a place that ticks all those boxes. It’s in Weymouth, MA, just off Washington Street on Woodrock Road. We’re happy to report, however, that this site is no longer available for lease. It’s now home to Barrel House Z and we couldn’t be happier. Admittedly, the space needs a lot of love, but this rough-around-the-edges blank slate is OUR blank slate.

Of course, there’s lots of work to be done. Here’s a look at some of the biggest areas for attention.

Permits: As you can imagine, lots of governmental approval is needed in the beer-making biz. Barrel House Z is in the process of acquiring: Federal permits (TTB), State permits (ABCC), and local building and occupancy permits. More permit applications will follow.

Equipment: To start, Barrel House Z is getting wort from Harpoon’s 10-barrel pilot system. You know the drill:

Brewers make wort using a brewhouse to cook malt, converting the starch into liquid sugar. Hops are added to impart bitterness as well as balance sugar and hop aromas. Yeast transforms the hopped wort into beer while it’s housed in stainless steel fermenters under temperature controlled, sanitary conditions. Barrels make everything better, enhancing beer via aging.

So the wort arrives and then we handle fermentation, barrel aging, bottling, kegging. That said, we’re awaiting delivery on lots of equipment:

Fermentation tanks, Barrels and barrel racks, bright beer tanks, bottling and kegging equipment.  Support utilities equipment: process chillers, water filtration, beer filters, steam boilers, hot water heaters, cleaning equipment, floor drains, cold storage rooms.

Lots of greats suppliers hard at work to make all this happen: JV Northwest, Global Stainless Systems. Prospero Equipment Corporation, and Stout Stainless Tanks and Kettles. Again, this is just the start.

Facility: As noted above, our space needs a lot of love. We’ve put Paul J. Rogan Company (general contractor), Roth & Seelen (architects), and Peak Mechanical Services to work to get our house in order. A few things we’re doing right away include: rehabbing office space, establishing much-needed security systems, updating heating and A/C. Yes, this too is tip of the iceberg.

More updates will follow. Right now, we’ve got some serious work to do.