Howdy, Beer Fans!
If you've been following along for the past few weeks, then you know that (1) our Kickstarter project is currently underway (and based on the overwhelming support of our backers, future taproom awesomeness is just around the corner!), and (2) we received our shiny new brewhouse vessels from our equipment manufacturer in Canada, eh. Well, we're happy to report that the brewhouse utility work is nearly complete, and we may be ready to brew actual beer any minute now. Getting to this point has been almost two years in the making, and it's really exciting to be so close to opening day.
"If you're so close to opening, why don't you announce an official opening date – what the hosen is taking so long?!" Well friends, despite our best laid plans, we're finding ourselves in the same position that so many new breweries find themselves in: this process always takes longer (and costs more) than you ever imagined.
The reasons for the lengthy startup phase have to do with getting approval to brew from regulators and finishing brewery construction. Alcoholic beverage production is one of the most highly regulated industries imaginable; virtually every level of government (federal, state, local, etc.) has a hand on our schnitzel. You may have heard other new breweries talk about getting their "TTB" number, which is a significant licensing milestone for any new brewery. The TTB is the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax & Trade Bureau, which is an arm of the U.S. Treasury. As onerous as the process of getting a TTB number can be, it's practically a cakewalk compared to all of the state and local hoops that new breweries have to jump through in order to become fully licensed and operational.
Here at Bauhaus, we have our TTB number, and we just recently got our state brewer's license. Our city taproom and growler licenses are in the works, and we are awaiting final approval from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. "Wait, you guys aren't farmers – you're brewers, right?!" Right you are, observant one. But Minnesota treats breweries in the same manner as it does food processing plants (think meat packing facilities or dairies), and those types of businesses are regulated primarily by the Department of Agriculture. As you would expect, this can be a cumbersome endeavor, and it frequently results in several changes that have to be made to the brewery/taproom floor plan, surface coverings/coatings or other miscellaneous items in order to be in compliance. We recently met with the inspector from the Department of Agriculture, and we're doing our darndest to get the brewery up to snuff.
In the meantime, we're riding herd on our trades to finish up with brewery construction. After all of this is done, we get one final golden ticket from the city: our certificate of occupancy. Once we have this, all of you beautiful beer people can waltz through our doors.
So, hang in there beer fans. We know you're champing at the bit to see what we've been cooking up for you's – it won't be long now!