HOW TO START A BREWERY – PART II

The first brew….and more paperwork

For those of you who have been wondering about the long and tedious paperwork that we were waiting for, it’s done! We received our approved TTB Brewer’s Notice which means we can finally apply for our next set of paperwork. Yes, after 9 weeks of waiting for the Brewer’s Notice, our next step is to apply for more paperwork! The Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board, to receive our final endorsement that will allow us to sell our beer. Wouldn’t it be great to be able to simply submit all of your paperwork at the same time? I thought so too, but unfortunately that’s not how it works. The WA State Liquor and Cannabis Board will not review your paperwork until you have your Brewer’s Notice. Luckily, this next step should only take 2-3 weeks rather than 9 it took before. We have submitted everything and currently are just waiting for the green light.

This however, doesn’t mean we can’t brew beer! The picture above is the SABCO 2X System that we are currently using. If you don’t already know, brewing equipment is very expensive. If you are just starting out, price out everything, including license fees, and see if this is something you are ready to commit to. This system that we bought allows us to brew enough beer while not spending tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars on equipment. It is a 1 bbl system which will allow us to brew just under 2 full kegs per batch. Granted I have not used any other system, and there a few others out there, this machine/set-up is amazing. We were able to brew our first two batches of beer in one day and the entire process ran smoothly. This equipment, in our opinion, is high quality and fairly simple to use. 

Our first brew day took us a total of 13 hours. Now, this was our very first time using this machine and that 13 hours included prep work, brewing, transferring to the fermentors, cleaning, and several trips to a local Home Brew Shop to get some extra equipment. Our goal is to make dozens of different types of beer as time goes on. However, for our first two batches we decided to make a West Coast IPA and a Golden/Session IPA (names still TBD).

When you are starting a brewery, you obviously need to know your costs. How much do each of your beers cost you to make? There were a few costs that we hadn’t even thought about until we started brewing. Such as propane, oxygen tank, CO2 tank and PBW (a cleaning solution). All of these items need to go into your breakdown for costs. It’s not just ingredients (grains and hops). Different types of beer will cost you a different amount. So keep in mind the more grains and hops your recipe calls for, the more that one batch will cost you. Heavier IPA’s call for many more hops than say a golden ale. Even the grains can be twice as much. Make sure to keep track of everything. It is crucial to know how much each of your beers cost you to make. 

While it was exciting to brew our first couple batches of beer with our new SABCO machine, sadly we can’t share it with the public. Which lucky for us, means we have a lot of beer to drink ourselves.

​As we wait for our final legal documents to be completed and approved, we will be fine tuning our recipes until we feel comfortable they’re good enough for the public to enjoy. Once we do get our first keg of beer into the market, we will be sure to let you know where you can find it. 

Thanks again for following our journey,

Cheers!

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