We had a great time at Beer Conn at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport this weekend. We met lots of great people and got excellent feedback on our beer—we’re up to almost 100 reviews on Untappd. Some people said we had one of the longest lines in the place. The one funny thing we found out upon debuting our new banner is that it has a misprint: it says we’re located at Honeypot Road (missing the “s” in Honeyspot). This led to several Winnie the Pooh jokes. Good times. Check out our pictures.
I’ll spare you having to look at a photo, but the Frankenstein-like scar under the knuckle of my right index finger is a testament to the blood and sweat (no tears yet) going into our beer-making mission. The past two weekends have involved some back-breaking work, most of it devoted to getting that awful carpet glue off the floor. We’re pleased to report that as of Saturday, the glue is gone for good. Then we spent yesterday patching cracks and holes in the floors and walls. When that was done, I started using a razor scraper to get rid of some opaque film that was ruining the view out our windows. But I slipped, and had to get six stitches that put my knuckle in a league with Mary Shelley’s monster and the title of an Edgar Winter song.
Other things that happened in the past two weeks? We got a lot of great information at a Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream speed coaching event, bought a keg washer (see photo), started developing some ideas for brewery swag, and are gearing up to get the actual buildout done. Stay tuned!
Carpet glue is disgusting. And it has an attitude I don’t particularly care for. It’s all like, “Hey, I’m pale yellow and have ugly swishy grooves from when I was put down, and guess what? I’m not gonna come up and you’re not gonna be able to paint your brewery floors.”
And then professional flooring guys and the tool rental guy at Home Depot and our contractor’s friend are like, “Oh yeah, that carpet glue is serious, man. It’s not coming up.” But we were like, “Well, we have to try because the cheapest alternative is gonna add $10,000 to our budget.”
So we rented this floor polishing tool with diamond floor-covering removal blades when Home Depot opened at the crack of dawn today. When we left at 5pm, we’d gotten up about a third of the glue. It will take a couple more days, but that stuff’s days are numbered. Suck on that, carpet glue.
We also removed a piece of wall where our bar will go, as well as a wall from one of the bathrooms so we can make it ADA-compliant.
Tomorrow we drive a U-Haul truck to a brewery in Brooklyn to pick up 70 kegs.
Two Police-song themes in a week might be a bit much, but they’re both fitting so we don’t feel that bad. It turns out that just as we began in earnest our search for equipment, our new friends at Powder Hollow Brewery in Enfield, Connecticut, were looking to unload their original setup. They opened a little less than a year ago and are already scaling up to a 10-barrel system at year’s end. Then we’ll take their brewing system, some fermenters, and other stuff they don’t need anymore. Mike, the owner, gave us some great advice. He’s super knowledgeable and a really good brewer. We picked up a growler of his IPA. If you’re ever up in Enfield, near the Massachusetts border, we suggest you do the same. The photo shows their taproom.
Thanks to Melvin Mason of the Stratford Star for the wonderful write-up today. Check it out here.
We filed the paperwork for our federal brewer’s license last night. Feels good, but it’s gonna be a long haul—the latest average wait time for approval is 132 days. Sounds like a lot, but it’s only the end of February. And let’s face it, this year’s practically over. In the meantime, we’ll order our equipment and start getting the space ready. We’re raring to go.
This is Big Me, the double IPA that will be on tap from 1-5pm at the Harbor Brew Fest in Bridgeport tomorrow. Also on tap: Twist & Stout, a chocolate milk stout.
After more than a year of searching and facing hurdle after hurdle (zoning, parking, landlords who didn’t understand our business model), Fairfield Craft Ales has found a home in Stratford, Connecticut. We signed our lease today. Now it’s time to do everything else. More soon…