Construction Update: December 31st

I figured we might as well cap off the year with an update. Right?

Our hope last time we updated the blog was that construction would wrap up before Christmas. Well, we’d like to wish you a happy new year while giving you another update of our ongoing construction…which is to say, we’re still working.

Inspections have gone remarkably well and we’re getting ready to cover the walls. Plumbing, electrical and mechanical are approved. These are the big money areas, so we’re thrilled to have them in place. That said, a few key areas have been delayed and required further tweaking to our design. Redesigns mean added delays, and in this case, it was major work to our bar layout. So, with the necessary tweaks in place, we can move forward with the health department approval and get our cabinetry ordered. That is hopefully this week, but given the holidays…we’ll see.

Since we last spoke, our cold room has been installed and just needs the floor treatment put in place. Other than some damage in shipping everything looks great. We decided to tolerate some dents on the inside of the cooler in lieu of waiting for replacement panels which likely would have taken close to a month. 

Oh, and we managed to get a surprise audit from the liquor control board. It turns out that they are random and we’ll get them every 5 to 7 years, but damn if the timing wasn’t poor. We passed easily, but gathering all of the paperwork was a huge task and it pulled us away while we prepared for it.

And… and… the big deal of the month was getting the tanks up from Oregon. They look amazing! And it was nothing short of surreal to get them into position so we could start taking positioning measurements off of them.

Full disclosure: delivery of the tanks was a complete pain (with some awesome parts sprinkled in there too). They shipped on a Friday and late Tuesday we were given a window by the shipping company between noon and 5pm for the next day. Awesome. A five-hour window and we had to arrange for a forklift to be delivered so we could unload the truck. They showed at 4:10 with a completely full truck. We lucked out on parking it (see below). We thought that we’d need to block 55th Ave W (the street just east of our building) as it was the least busy, but in order to do so we’d need active flaggers, coning, etc. And, we’d be blocking some of the building’s residential neighbors on their way to the residential garage. 

3:30pm. I parked my car on 56th Ave W. There’s room for four cars to park there in a mix of 15-minute and 90-minute spots. I managed to get one of those spots, but with three other cars parked behind me…this was unlikely to work out.

3:50pm. Still full.

4:02pm. One car moves… still, two others are parked there. Meanwhile, we’re looking for a truck preparing to flag this guy down sometime in the next hour.

4:06pm… Another car moves… time to grab cones. We block the two spots behind me, but honestly, with a 30-foot trailer (plus cab - thats important) it still didn’t matter.

4:08pm… Whoa!!! The final car moved.

Okay… you didn’t need a play-by-play, but damn if we didn’t need a break. I’m not ready to call this a biblical parting of the Red Sea, but for Mountlake Terrace… in 2018… with a brewery project… yeah, we’ll take it.

From there, it took almost two hours to unload everything. Which, creates another issue. The City’s noise ordinance goes into effect at 10pm. And, we’d only unloaded everything to the sidewalk. (by the way, thanks for the grace folks…we met tons of you with all our stuff out there…and you were all super nice about us taking up your sidewalks) Our tanks didn’t fit through the doors while still crated. So, we had to break down all of the crates in the middle of the sidewalk, disassemble several components on the outside of the tanks, lift the tanks out and carefully tilt them through the door. 

9:43pm… the last tank is inside and in place. 5.5 hours.

We’ve been having a ton of fun putting the system together, and of course can’t wait to mount it, clean it and finally start brewing on it.

Which leads to the last update. Again, we’ve got nothing but great things to say about Mountlake Terrace. They folks at City Hall have been the best. We got a call from them a couple of weeks ago letting us know that if we could get the brewing area finished and a single bathroom finished, they may be able to cut us an occupancy permit for just those areas - which means… we can start brewing! 

This will give us time to finish up the final details of the rest of the space while starting to build inventory. Which means… no big delay once all of that is ready.

So… the numbers of the month… 1 random audit. 3 inspections passed. 15 shipping crates from Stout Tanks. And 3 tired (but smiling) brewers. We’re still making progress. And this is still awesome. We’re still pinching ourselves.