Building a Brewery

Building R.Shea Brewing: Week 4, Aug 25-31, 2014

Sep 3, 2014

It's officially week four.  A lot has happened in week four:

Temporary window treatments

My wife got some white dropcloths to hang in the windows.   But what's more boring than all white in the windows for months?  I had to spruce it up with some logo's to let you know that this is real.  Up until now, it probably hasn't been too tangible to both you and me...more like a dream.


Temporary window treatments look good don’t they?

I involved my two son's as much as I could.  There is nothing better for learning than involving them in as much of the process as I can...though patience it takes! They did a lot of work on creating the stencils to then paint these signs.


Beginning work on the large window treatments…measuring them to cut down to size.


Stenciling for the cutouts.


Final version of the stencil for the window treatments.


The logo stencil is done!

I couldn't be happier with these temporary signs.  My wife was actually surprised that they look as good as they do.

Inside Renovation

I have been itching to get inside and remove some flooring and the old bar area of the previous tenant, etc.  My Dad, John (thanks a lot John!) and I got this done in two days.  I really needed to see this space opened up so I could start mapping out a 3D floorplan.


Dad removing some tile. We scrapped the jackhammer as we found out that a simple spud bar easily removed the tiles whole – which we can then reuse.


We’re able to recycle some nice tile to reuse in the bathrooms.


This floor will be ‘interesting’ to integrate to say the least.


Kids are having fun. Though I have to try to match that tile and continue it down in front of the bar.

This is when I had my 'oh s$7t' moment...it's really for real.  No going back...not that I want to (I have been sampling the most recent Amarillo IPA I just made...10 days old...it's too good to keep to myself)

Bar Science

Along with laying out the bar, I have to figure out the exact dimensions.    Essentially it's a big grey area.  I honestly don't think the 'internet standard bar dimensions' are that good.  We tried those dimensions and your feet and legs are too pinned into the bar back wall.  We have a bar height table at home that is much more generous - and comfortable.  My wife and I even experimented with several footrest dimensions.  We think we have a good bar...but we are going to do some research at other local bars in the coming weeks to make sure.  We need to answer question like:

  • Is this dimension of bar comfortable?
  • Is it deep enough?  (easy to get your legs in around front when getting in the seat)
  • Is the dimensions of the footrest appropriate?
  • Is the bar area wide enough for drinks and a plate of food?
  • Does the bar stick out enough so that you aren't 'stretching' when eating food?

Doing a lot of bar research and first-hand trials.


Laying out the bar edges to figure out the room in front of and in back of the bar.


More brewing layouts.


A rough bar area with circles for fermentors and brew tanks (we are not using these chairs).

Along with all of this work, more decisions were presented.  Should I order custom 30" diameter fermentors instead of 36"?  I have also changed the fermentor layout several times since mocking-up the bar.  I need to have the brew equipment laid-out efficiently but I also need to leave 3 feet for a pathway behind the bar. Decisions, decisions.

This upcoming week

I hope to finalize the bond (yes...still the bond...though it has been confirmed it's been sent to the final company).  I will be doing a lot of 'contemplation' on the layout so far.  I will be measuring, moving circles and walking around again...for days. I need to figure out the floor behind the bar which will share the brewing area...tile or linoleum squares.

Amarillo IPA

This was brewed about 10 days ago.   I have been sampling it from the fermentor for the last 3 days since I cold crashed it and it is GOOD!  It's about 6.5% ABV. It needs to settle out a little more but it's definitely fresh and yummy.  It doesn't have a lingering bitterness...very smooth.


Amarillo IPA is tasting good!

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